January 27th, 2010
06:20 PM ET

Mel Gibson's Viking adventure

Bravehearted Scots? Check. Mayan warriors? Been there, done that. What else have you got for us, Mel Gibson? Turns out the answer is... Vikings.

I caught up with him last night at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the premiere of his new crime drama, "Edge of Darkness," and he confirmed he's working on a new Viking saga. And no, it won't be centered on Brett Favre and whether or not he's going to retire.

"It's going to be good. I'm writing it with Bill Monahan ("The Departed") and he's a good writer," he says. "And I get some pretty good ideas sometimes," he adds with a smile, "It's going to be Viking with a capital 'V.' I've never seen a good Viking movie, have you?"

Off the top of my head, I couldn't think of one. So is this thing going to be like "Braveheart" with boats?

"No, it will be pretty good, it's different. I cracked [the story]. I'll give you that in about, you might see that in 18 months, two years. It's a long gestation period."

Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly set to play the lead. Let the pillaging begin!


soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. CanadaGirl

    No Leo- please! He's not an actor, he's a prissy little girl-man and in all honesty, if he HAD been on a viking ship he'd've been walking the plank before they could get out of port.

    Go Viggo!!

    January 30, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shane McGuire

    Mel-

    If you have a look at these Blogs, I have to agree with the other folks that say DeCaprio is not the right choice for the role. I am sorry but I would have to go with Gerard Butler, Eric Bana, Viggo Mortensen, Russell Crowe, Stallan Stalskaard, or Hugh Jackman, heck even yourself for that role.

    Not even to put to fine of a point on it, you could probably have gorren Johnny Depp to put a little Captain Jack Sparrow twist on the role for you, if you wanted a little point of humor.

    Billy Neigh, and a few others would have been great pics too.

    But Leonardo DeCaprio is like putting Mark Hammil in that role.

    Heck if two of my favorite actors were not up in years for that type of role I would have told you to pick Rutger Hauer or Harrison Ford.

    But even in my family heretage being half Scot and half Irish, I fully understand that the person you need to pick for the role needs to be a fairly big person. I have to say it but Arnold played an excellent role in Conan The Barbarian.

    If you could get Jesse Ventura it would make a believeable Viking, that boy ain't small, even after his political career.

    Mel I think you are missing the point here in DeCaprio. Vikings were not "small" people. These were pretty big boys and girls. Here is the real kicker and my point, the swords? If you did your homework you understand the German Flamberge and the Scottish Claymore were not small swords. These were not like the Roman Gladius. These were substantial pieces of Iron. Moreover, it took big boys to swing big swords.

    I am 6 Foot even. I am the shortest male in my family. My little brother is 6'2" my father is 6'4". I own replicas of both of the swords I mentioned above, and even my brother and father have a hard time picking up those swords. The Claymore is a near 16 lbs, and the Flamberge is 18+.

    So when you consider that Vikings were not small people to begin with, and their decendants liked to play with big pieces of metal that chop very effectively, all I have to say is DeCaprio, you had better eat your steaks and wheaties, because a couple of hours swinging that type of weight around is going to get real old, real fast.

    January 30, 2010 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Marcia

    Conan... now that's a thought! And he's a big redhead. Conan O'Brian that is... isn't he out of work right now?

    January 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marcia

    I agree with no Leo D. Not brawny enough. However just about anyone in the NHL could do the job. My vote would be for any of the blonds in the Red Wings... like Chris Osgood, he's a pretty face. Vikings could skate, couldn't they? There's a lotta good Swedes, Norwegians and Finns in the NHL... I wish they would allow horns on their helmits at the games...

    January 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jay

    DiCaprio? How about Vigo Morgensen?

    January 29, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Christine

    And speaking of good Viking movies, a really good film which unfortunately you can't get on DVD or Video is "Alfred the Great" circa 1969? starred young David Hemmings as Alfred, Michael York as Guthorm and I think Prunella Ransom as Aelswith. This was a good film as well.

    January 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Christine

    There has recently been a series of books written by Bernard Cornwall who is well known for the "Sharpe" series as well as some Civil War stuff which is about Alfred the Great and the Vikings. It is an excellent set of books (about 4 in series so far), very historically accurate in feel, one of Cornwall's trademarks (see Sharpe series). If Gibson is planning on using this series of books for the screenplay, it would be a good start. DeCaprio would be ok for the younger version of the lead character. He did a pretty good job in "Blood Diamond" he's not quite so pretty as he has himself aged.

    January 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    DiCaprio in a Viking film? Who else is in this? Gary Coleman? Danny Devito? Deep Roy? Tom Cruise? Michael J Fox? Dustin Hoffman? Phil Collins?

    January 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BarryK

    Conan is not a viking movie.... Rober E Howard would take great issues with that if you called his creation a Viking.....

    January 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BarryK

    The Vikings – The 13th Warrior..... Two I can think of off the to of my head....

    January 29, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ronnie hill

    Leo is a great Actor

    January 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ronnie hill

    This movie will be great he is a terrific director Leonardo Decaprio is a great actor I can't wait to see movie and who else is in it

    January 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Trish B

    Leonardo DiCaprio? Are you kidding me? HA! I agree he's a good actor, but totally inappropriate for this role. Wait–maybe it's a children's film? Mel can call it "The Littlest Viking".

    January 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ernest

    kevin you are so right THE LONG SHIPS is GREEEAT. Dicaprio could not carry a Viking sword

    January 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark Pinto

    Please Mel, please please please, no Leo.

    January 29, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ryan K

    The best viking movie ever made was Conan the Barbarian, bar none. If you think it's not a viking movie, watch it again. He prays to Kromm, he is taken prisoner by Huns and grows up in the steppes. He returns to Scandinavia (Cimmeria) and plots his revenge. Bar none.

    January 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jesper Carl Corfitzen

    As a Dane with my viking history in my baggage, I think Leonardo is a bit of a weak choice. Viking's are rough with hair on their chest and they rock.

    So please go out there and find a new leading actor who is not famous already for something else. Bring a true new character who has what it takes to bring back the vikings back to live, and be inspired by the old Nordic goods as my childhood heroes as Thor, Odin and Ymer. they were Viking Men with a big V&M.

    But Hollywood is Hollywood and I'm sure they will destroy my imagination of how it should be done and fail to take a liking to a Viking.

    January 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Dea

    I can't wait to see it. Braveheart and Apocalypto are two of my favorite movies. Leonardo is always surprising as an actor. I'm not against him in the role. However, how about Alexander Skarsgard? or is that too obvious.

    January 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Bob

    Go Mel, I bet this will be another home run.

    January 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Daniel

    I also happen to love the 13th Warrior. Vikings rock! (ragnarock?)

    January 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Delaney

    The Vikings is one of the best Viking movies to date. The 13th Warrior was really good too. Erik the Viking OK for a touch of Monty Python. How about Beowulf and Grendal with Gerard Butler.

    I have to agree DeCaprio while a good actor, is not for this roll. As someone said Viggo, Sean, Gerard, Karl Urban, Hell even Russell Crowe, Jouko Ahola who is Finnish and was in Kingdom of Heaven as Odo or Marton Csokas also of Kingdom of Heaven (Guy), Mads Mikkelsen from king Arthur. I could go on and on and on with a million better choices.

    Braveheart while a compeling movie was so far out of accurate it could have been a fairy tale. Same with Mels Aztec movie

    January 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Debra R

    Excuse me, but Braveheart was completely exaggerated..except for the execution....

    January 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  23. got2swimclimb

    I won't see another Mel Gibson movie. You have to have principals. It's a shame too since there was a time when I would drop everything to see him in a movie. What could be going through his head?

    January 28, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  24. The Living Tribunal

    And cmon people.....When have we know Mel Gibson to take a comic book approach with a film? Gibson is someone who at least tries to stay true to history. I admit, Braveheart might have been a little exaggerated, but the film was meant to inspire people as William Wallace inspired his countrymen. And I dont care what religion or beliefs you hold to, The Passion was as close to the real text as a mordern film can get....and you can't argue with the billion dollar club.

    The Vikings are sort of forgotten when talking about the shaping of the modern world so the concept of this film has so many directions you can take and it is going to be axctiting to see which one Gibson takes.

    January 28, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  25. The Living Tribunal

    Hey...Leonardo DiCaprio has been getting better with each movie......he might play that same rough character in all of his latest films...but you can't deny that he was good at it. He can obviously carry a movie, and I would much rather see him than Brad Pitt (Troy) or Colin Farrell (Alexander). DiCaprio has sort of a human quality cabout him that you can relate too......you can actually see yourself playing his role.

    January 28, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  26. The Living Tribunal

    Uh....can you say "The Thirteenth Warrior?!"

    January 28, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  27. Debra R

    Leo put in a pretty solid job as Howard Hughes....but a Viking? You need someone a bit brawnier..dare I say manly? Gerard Butler?

    I absolutely loved The Vikings and The Long Boats....

    January 28, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  28. Ted Kelton

    Now if you want a Viking how about Viggo Mortensen, Karl Urban, or Sean Bean from Lord of the Rings... They have the right look

    January 28, 2010 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  29. Sipho

    you guys are hilarious. From an african perspective, I agree with you. Not Decaprio, pleeese. "Braveheart with boats".

    January 28, 2010 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  30. Mitzie

    Three words: Eric the Viking!

    January 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jango Davis

    I will not pay any money with Leonardo DeCaprio in it. When he can do a comedy, then I'll pay money. until then, he's just a one-note actor who has conned Hollywood into believing "brooding" is the same thing as acting.

    Sorry MEl. I love your movies, but you will never have a great viking movie with a sniviling little pretty boy like DeCaprio.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  32. roger

    my choice would be the Finnish film Pathfinder, not the vikings versus
    the indians, Leo I suppose could handle lines like "my fadda da calif"
    oh well Hollywood and its comic book appoach to life

    January 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Kirk

    Oh and Leo DeCaprio? Why him? I am skeptical already. He pretty much sucks escept when playing a drug addict or a developmentally disabled guy.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Kirk

    Those are both classics in the Viking genre. As a re-enacting enthusiast, I can tell you that among Viking oriented re-enactors, The 13th Warrior is considered a "classic" as well. I know people who bought some of the main characters' costumes from the movie at an auction site – two of which got married in an ancient Viking-style wedding wearing the garb. His was Herger's costume I believe, and hers was the dress from the girl who gets sacrificed early in the film I believe.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Kevin

    Never heard of a good Viking movie ? Try " The Vikings " with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis or "The Long Ships " with Richard Widmark and Sydney Poitier.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |

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