‘The man from the North’ is the new film by Robert Eggers based on the Norse legend that inspired Hamlet. The Viking epic is the director’s biggest project yet, although he has also confessed that he did not have the last word when it came to editing the film.
a necessary risk
As the director told IndieWire, despite having successes like ‘The Witch’ and ‘The Lighthouse’ behind him, Robert Eggers did not have total control over the final edition of his new film. The budget of more than 70 million for ‘The Northman’ is not a small feat and the studio wanted to make sure that every dollar was invested to their liking.
“I knew when I handed the script over to the studio that I wasn’t going to make the final cut of the movie,” Eggers explained. “And it was a risk I was determined to take. The studio also took a huge risk by letting someone who had only done two tabloid independent movies make such a big fucking Viking movie with all their department heads.”
“I’ve said that the post-production process was the most painful of my life, and that’s a fucking fact, okay? But it was also necessary,” the director continued. “I think if I had total control and was left alone, I would now be in a terrible position in the market. I needed the pressure from the studio to make the most entertaining version of this movie.”
Eggers clarified that although he could not get his hands on the final edition of ‘The man from the north’, he is very happy with the result because it is what the film needed.
“So it’s a cut I’m proud of, but my instincts are not to make entertainment. I mean, entertainment was seventh on the list for ‘The Witch’ and 15th for ‘The Lighthouse.’ It was tough, but necessary. It would have been much worse in the end.”
Blockbusters are not his thing
Despite the fact that ‘The Northman’ has had a multi-million dollar budget and Eggers has jumped to a “major league”, the director says he is not interested in moving on to make blockbusters or work for big franchises or studios.
“I’ve only ever done self-produced work. I understand how lucky I am to be in this situation. Even though I didn’t have the final cut, we went into this knowing it was going to be a Robert Eggers movie, with all that that entails,” Eggers explained. “I don’t understand how this could benefit a movie where I’m a director for hire. Everything I do is the complete opposite of a Marvel movie.”
Eggers said that even if his movie doesn’t turn out to be such a big deal, he hopes people will celebrate what it means because it’s rare that movies this big can be made these days without the backing of a big franchise. “I hope that other filmmakers also have the opportunity to do it”.