Mel Gibson's Viking Movie May Be The Last He Directs
Posted 03.15.10 by Ryan
Mel Gibson has admitted that his next project will be directing an untitled movie about Vikings starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but the actor turned director told the LA Times that the movie may be his last.
[The Viking movie] was the first movie I ever thought about making. I
saw it in my mind back when I was teenager. Seriously, it's the first
movie I wanted to make. And I think it will be the last film I direct. It's the thing I have been going toward, in a way, since I was young,
and I think when it's done I may be finished.
Gibson has said that he wants to make the movie "real" with the characters speaking in "old Norse" and showing "whatever the 9th century has to offer." Historical settings paired with authentic languages are familiar territory for Gibson, whose Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto used the Aramaic and Mayan languages, respectively.
When I was 16, learning about the history of the English language I
became fascinated with Vikings. And I imagined what they would sound
like, how would they talk and that's what I will be going for in this
film. It's a challenge though. There's never been a good Viking film,
not that I've seen. I think I have found the right way to get into it,
though, but I don't want to say too much.
Gibson says that screenwriter William Monahan (Edge of Darkness) is working "hammer and tongs" on the script right now, and producer Graham King, who also attended the interview said that the key to the story was finding a Viking character that would elicit sympathy in an audience.
There's not many sympathetic Vikings out there. And you have to find
something of sympathy in one of them or what else is there to show,
other than blood and guts and rape and pillaging? You can't just show a
film that is battle scene after battle scene, you have to show heroism
and sympathy. To me, the greatest thing about
this is we don't have a book or a familiar story — we had a couple of
guys doing a month and a half of research on all of the different
Viking stories that are out there. We had that research when we went in
the room and we had Mel driving that train during the meeting. So we
sat there five or six hours and then we had another meeting and it was the same thing. And after that we felt we had a sufficient enough story and material to go off and write the script for a movie.
Neither King nor Gibson would elaborate further on what Viking DiCaprio will portraying the movie. As for whether Gibson will appear himself, Gibson denies that he will act in the movie, while King thinks that there's "a chance that might change."