By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 14, 2011 at 2:20AM
Let the typecasting for Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård’s Nordic good looks begin. As one of the leading men in the HBO hit series “True Blood," Skarsgård plays 1,000-year-old Viking warrior-turned-vampire Eric Northman. It looks like he will now play the part before being bitten as he is set to produce and star in a Viking epic along the “vein” -- no pun intended -- of “Gladiator” and “Braveheart.” The story will follow a pair of Viking brothers who embark on a journey back to their native Sweden after being exiled to North America, for reasons yet unknown.
The working title of the pic is “The Vanguard” and it was successfully pitched to Warner Bros. by Andy Horwitz and Jake Kurily from Atlas Entertainment (“The Brothers Grimm”, “Get Smart” and upcoming Superman reboot “Man of Steel” starring another gladiator Russell Crowe) and by Christopher Boal. This is the second project acclaimed playwright and emerging screenwriter Boal will pen for Warner Bros., the other being an epic tale about Julius Caesar, to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Battle: Los Angeles”, “Clash of the Titans 2”). We suspect Boal will know what he's doing on that pic, considering that his play “23 Knives” is about Caesar’s murder. It also doesn’t hurt that he also happens to be the brother of Mark Boal, who wrote the Academy award-winning film “The Hurt Locker,” for which Chris Boal directed and produced the behind-the-scenes footage for the DVD release.
Skarsgård, who also played Lady Gaga's boyfriend in her "Paparazzi" music video has earned some buzz for his role as Iceman in another HBO production, acclaimed mini-series “Generation Kill.” He is also starring in a diverse batch of upcoming projects including Universal’s “Battleship” and Screen Gems’ “Straw Dogs” remake alongside James Marsden and Kate Bosworth. He also scored a role alongside his father, Stellan Skarsgård, in Lars von Trier’s forthcoming downer “Melancholia.”
This will be Skarsgård's first time involved elbows deep in the production process, and while we're not sure who else will star in it, if they are in need of more Scandinavian pirate look-alikes, they can always ask Skarsgård’s actor brothers, Gustaf, Sam, Bill and Valter Skarsgard. [Variety] --Laura Vrabie