Filming began in Iceland on September 5,
continued for ten weeks. The setting included
real glaciers, a fake 6th century village and a replica of a Viking
ship. Principal photography took place on the south coast of Iceland near Höfn and Vik in
areas that have remained untouched since the time of the writing of Beowulf.
article from Montage
article from Playback
"Skarsgård adds gravitas to the kind
of role actors kill for. Hrothgar becomes a tragic figure, pitiable and
coarse but profound." ... Barry Caine,
Inside Bay Area.
"Stellan is perfectly cast as the moody, downtrodden king whose
world has been upturned by the consequences of an act of cruelty
mitigated by an act of kindness." ...Kim
Skarsgård steals the acting honours, and Sarah
Polley has never looked so sexy."
...Mark Harris, Straight.com
oozes remorse and boozy breath as the distinctly
unregal king." ...Todd
Skarsgard is effective as the arrogant Hrothgar, who
realizes too late that his own sins cause his
Curtright, The Wichita Eagle
is at his scene-stealing best as the imperiled
king." ...William Arnold, Seattle
performance as a leader stumbling, drunk and
disappointed, in the face of an overwhelming enemy
is both moving and fun." ...Tom
Keough, Seattle Times
"Thanks to its
visual imagination and the committed performances of
its cast -- Skarsgard provides welcome humor as the
beleaguered king and Sigurdsson is as fierce a
villain as one could imagine -- this full-blooded
rendition of the Norse saga should prove a handy
video study guide for students for years to come."
...Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
Production Updates from the Director:
11.07.04: It's a wrap!
10.12.04: The stormy south coast of Iceland has been
particularly dramatic this fall. We've had 160 plus kilometer an hour winds that took the
roofs off local hotels and blew cars off the roads, and well as driving rain and huge
seas. Overall, it's been quite difficult to work in but the resulting images are
spectacular. So far, we've only stopped production for one day when the winds were gusting
at 180K and there were concerns that our glorious mead hall was going to simply blow away.
For the actors it's been difficult, but on a certain level very rewarding. When the
elements become such a powerful character in your scene, it eliminates all preconceptions
and forces them to simply be in the moment. That is, after all, the kind of characters
we're dealing with in the story - people who survive and thrive in an extreme environment.
10.9.04: The shoot is crazy-tough. 160K
winds, horizontal rain, our base camps blown halfway across the country. But beautiful
dailies, great performances from Gerrie, Stellan, Sarah, Ingvar and the whole incredibile
cast, plus the unscripted and overwhelming character in every scene -- the elements.
9.14.04: "Day one we put the
Viking ship, Islendingur, into the ice lagoon at Jokulslon. Throughout pre-production we
always thought that if we can do this, we can do anything. The week was tough but
wonderful... The weather governs our production and has become a character in the
film... The spirit is good and there's much joy in the adversity... We just
started our second week - the Beowulf and Selma portion... The
landscape is powerful and governs the tone of every scene.
9.5.04: "We start
filming tomorrow. The delays had mainly to do with the logistics of mounting the
production, and we are currently waiting to see if we'll begin tomorrow with our Plan A,
which is the Geats travelling through an eerie iceberg passage in a viking ship. Prepping
the ship is a little behind schedule and we may have to move to Plan B tomorrow to give
the ship's captain a little more time to get the ship ready. Either way, we begin filming