Mel Gibson, who is slowly creeping back into the public consciousness after his off-the-field troubles, is set to return to the director’s chair for the first time since 2006’s brutally violent Apocalypto. Gibson — who has The Edge of Darkness out next month, and just completed filming on the Jodie Foster-directed The Beaver (think Lars and the Real Girl with a beaver puppet hand) — will direct Leonardo Dicaprio in a Viking film from a William Monahan script.
Monahan is the link between DiCaprio and Gibson here — he scripted both Body of Lies and The Departed for DiCaprio, and wrote the script for Gibson’s The Edge of Darkness.
There aren’t a lot of details about the Viking flick — it apparently “will be as unsparing as Gibson’s other period directing efforts” and filming is set to begin in the fall of 2010.
Personally, I don’t see DiCaprio in Viking attire. In fact, I’m not sure there’s ever been a decent viking film (Pathfinder was gloriously bloody, but a terrible film, otherwise). My impression about the vikings from Hollywood is that they like to decapitate folks, and DiCaprio is way too pretty to be taking off folks’ heads. Gibson, on the other hand — this is his wheelhouse, manly epic period pieces. And if I were a betting man, I’d gamble that the viking film has something to do with the pagan Vikings’ eventual conversion to Christianity in Scandinavia, if only because Gibson loves him some God, and Monahan has some experience with religious epics (Kingdom of Heaven).