Leonardo DiCaprio is so dang pretty that he had to get quite a few years into his career before he could believably play an adult, let alone a physically imposing adult. Recently though, in things like, say, Shutter Island and Django Unchained, he’s really come into his own as a manly man. What’s the next logical step in this development? To play a Viking warlord, of course.
Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. and DiCaprio’s own Appian Way are looking to set up a project called King Harald, which is being thought of as a potential starring vehicle for the actor, and which he’s certainly going to at least get a producing credit on.
Apparently the deal started as a story pitch from Mark L. Smith, the writer of Alejandro Gonzalez Innarrito’s The Revenant as well as another Appian project called Endurance about polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. This project, King Harald, is about the life of an 11th century conqueror named Harald Hardrada, who has been described by some parties as being “the last great Viking king.” Over the course of his life he was the King of Norway, he experienced a period where he was exiled in Russia, and then he had another period where he returned to his people as a triumphant hero, so there’s plenty of material to be mined there—material that DiCaprio is reportedly interested in due to his status as a confirmed “history buff.”
The early pitch for the film sees it as a “Braveheart-style” action epic, which in the hands of the right director could be a big time crowd pleaser. The next step for DiCaprio fans is probably going to be photoshopping horned helmets onto his head in order to figure out whether or not he can pull this one off. Let’s get on that, people. Probably you should put the Braveheart score on while you’re working. For inspiration.