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OMG Vikings!

December 15, 2009

So the news is out. Mel Gibson’s next directing effort will be a movie about vikings, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Suffice to say, I have a few thoughts.

First, let’s get it out of the way. Mel Gibson is one messed up dude. An anti-semitic, ultra-orthodox Catholic torture fetishist. Oh, and given to some pretty hard drinking. Then again, the never-ending parade of scandals would seem to indicate that most of Hollywood is messed up. There’s just a dividing line between those whose cray-cray has been brought to light, and those who have as yet escaped detection.

Whatever his flaws, though, there’s no denying that Gibson is one gifted filmmaker. Braveheart stands as one of the all-time great historical epics. Apocalypto is a bracing and beautiful chase movie, utterly engrossing despite the completely alien language and culture. Then there’s The Passion of the Christ. A difficult movie to watch, but I tend to think that is exactly the point. Christ’s sacrifice was a lot more than a crown of thorns and some trickles of blood, and Passion was the first treatment I’ve ever seen that forced its audience to face the brutality and sheer, unendurable pain of Christ’s torture and execution.

Gibson’s historical work, his penchant for epic, violent action, and his ability to imbue that action with actual dramatic weight make him a promising candidate indeed to helm a viking movie. Add in the screenwriting talents of William Monahan (who also wrote Kingdom of Heaven and The Departed), and this could end up being something really special.

And then there’s Leonardo DiCaprio, who I for the life of me can’t really picture playing a viking. My initial thought was that maybe he’d end up on the Christian side of things, possibly playing someone like Alfred the Great, but the reports seem to indicate that he will, in fact, be playing a viking. Which…umm…okay. I still can’t see it, but I couldn’t see him as Howard Hughes, either, and let’s face it, he totally sold it in The Aviator.

More to come as the project gets off the ground, but for now, consider me highly interested in this one.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Daniel Clay Russ permalink
    December 18, 2009 4:16 pm


    “Mel Gibson is one messed up dude. An anti-semitic, ultra-orthodox Catholic torture fetishist.”


    love your blog

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