Rings producer plans Norway Viking epic

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected] • 30 Aug, 2013 Updated Fri 30 Aug 2013 08:11 CEST
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The producer behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy wants to shoot a $100 million Viking blockbuster in Norway, saying he is drawn by the "authentic landscape" and the expert knowledge local historians have about the Viking era.


Barrie Osbourne, who was also behind the Matrix films, said that he wanted to make a trilogy following the story of Harald Hardrada, the last great Viking king, who died in his attempt to conquer England in 1066. 
"The movie will be about how Harald evolved from a teenager to a great leader who rallied his kingdom," Osbourne told Stavanger Aftenbladet. "There is so much to tell about Harald that it does not fit in one movie. We need to create a trilogy. It will have the same structure as "Lord of the Rings", where the hero travels through many countries and kingdoms." 
It was unclear whether the proposed film was the same project as a Harald Hardrada film starring Leonardo diCaprio which was reported earlier this month. 
Osbourne met industry minister Trond Giske on Thursday to lobby for more than $10m (60m NOK) in government incentives, before calling a press conference at the Viking Ship museum in Bygdøy, Oslo. 
"If you are going to get a big movie shot in a country, it is essential that the authorities in the country help," Osbourne said. 
He argued that the film could have the same sort of impact on Norwegian tourism as New Zealand got from the Middle Earth trilogy. 
Around 60 percent of the film would be shot in Norway, bringing the country budget to around $60m, of which he would expect around 20 percent to be refunded by the Norwegian government. 
Norway's industry minister Trond Giske, who met Osbourne at the Viking Ship Museum in Bygdøy, told reporters that he believed it was in Norway's interest to do this. However, as Norway does not yet have an official film incentive programme, the money might have to come out of the country's tourist budget, he said. 



Richard Orange 2013/08/30 08:11

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