Mel Gibson may have just made his acting comeback with the yet-to-be-released Edge of Darkness and the Jodie Foster-directed comedy, The Beaver, but that hasn't stopped him from continuing his work as a director. After impressing with The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, it looks like Gibson will be working with Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time as he directs an untitled Viking movie.
Variety's BFDealmemo reports that Gibson will direct and DiCaprio will star in the yet-to-titled movie set in the world of the Viking culture. The movie will be scripted by the award-winning William Monaghan, who penned such films as The Departed and Body of Lies. The Departed producer, Graham King, will produce the Viking movie, along with Gibson himself and Tim Headington in a co-production between King's GK Films and Gibson's Icon Productions.
The principle people involved (Gibson, DiCaprio and King, presumably) confirmed the project but wouldn't give out any details about what it may be about, beyond it being a drama set within the Viking world. We do know, however, that DiCaprio will definitely play a Viking in the movie, and a probable reason for him doing the project is his supposed long-time fascination with Viking history and culture.
It's interesting to note that the prolific Graham King is keystone (so to speak) of this project: he worked with writer William Monaghan on the aforementioned Departed, as well as on his directorial debut London Boulevard; King recently worked with Gibson and Monaghan on Edge of Darkness; and he worked with DiCaprio on the Ridley Scott-directed Body of Lies last year. We've still to see a couple of those films in theaters, but I'm going to guess he's doing an okay job if he's attracting all these high profile people to collaborate with :) .
King said about the Viking project:
“This will be an awe-inspiring story, created with some of the industry’s finest cinematic talent and I am just over the moon to be making this film with Mel, Leo and Bill."
It's hard to judge how the movie sounds since, well... we don't really know much about it. But I've gotta' say that the talent involved is tremendous, and I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the combined efforts of Gibson and DiCaprio for the first time ever. Should make for an interest team-up, I think.
Mel does a screen test for his Viking movie
From the little we have to go on, are you looking forward to this project? Does the team-up of Gibson and DiCaprio give you reason enough to want to see it?
Shooting on the film is expected to begin sometime in the Fall of 2010, which means it would be next up on the directing slate for Gibson. There's currently no distributor for the film, but as Variety notes, both Gibson and King often make films outside of the studio system and then look for a distributor at a later date.
Source: Variety (BFDealmemo)