Regardless of how you feel about Mel Gibson, the guy is a hell of a talented filmmaker, and one film that I really wanted to see was the Viking movie he was putting together before his personal life spilled out all over the news. After than happened, it seemed like no one wanted to work with him. Well, the actor and director is slowly but surly making his comeback, and that that Viking film that we thought was dead... isn't.
When the project was first announced Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to star in the film, which would be written by The Departed screenwriter William Monahan. Gibson had this to say about the idea behind his film back in 2010:
...the very first idea I ever had about making a film and my first thought about being a filmmaker was when I was 16 years old and I wanted to make a Viking movie. And I wanted to make it in Old Norse. Which I was studying at the time. And it was like...it's odd because at that age that's a stupidly ridiculous idea because how will I ever be a filmmaker? And that's just a dumb idea. It's just some kind of romantic pipe dream. But that was the first, big, epic wacky idea I ever had, was to show Viking real.
I think it's going to be English. The English that would have been spoken back then, and Old Norse. Whatever the 9th Century had to offer, I'm going to give you real.
DiCaprio dropped out of the project after all that craziness surrounding Gibson happened, and we heard that the project wasn't going to happen. Today, Deadline sparked a flame of hope letting us know that them movie is actually still in the works! Here's what they said...
[Gibson's] Icon label is developing an epic period Viking film that Gibson will direct, and which his Braveheart writer Randall Wallace has just turned in a second script draft. And Gibson and Joe Eszterhas are writing for Warner Bros an epic drama about Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee, who teamed with his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that had conquered Judea in the second century B.C. Gibson will likely direct that film as well, which is also being produced through Icon.
It's not a great deal of huge news, but it's great to know that Randall Wallace (Braveheart) is now on board writing the screenplay, and that it's actively in development.
Are you excited to hear that Gibson's Viking film lives on?