Leonardo DiCaprio as King Harald “Hard Ruler”?

Stian Dahlslett Viking Warriors

Viking warriors illustrated by Norwegian concept artist Stian Dahlslett ©

Warner Bros has made a preemptive acquisition of King Harald. The movie will be written by Mark L, Smith and produced by DiCaprio (and possibly star), and his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran. 

The film will focus on the Norse Viking king Harald Sigurdsson (1015 – 25 September 1066 AD) when he was killed in the battle of Stamford Bridge. In the sagas, King Harald was given the epithet “Hardråde” (“Hard Ruler”). He was King of Norway from 1046 to 1066 as Harald III.

Modern historians have often considered Harald’s death at Stamford Bridge, which brought an end to his invasion, as the end of the Viking Age. Harald III is regarded as the last great Viking king.

Prior to becoming king, he spent around fifteen years in exile as a mercenary and military commander in Kievan Rus’ (the sagas’ Garðaríki) and in Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire (todays Istanbul).

In Constantinople, he soon rose to become the commander of the Byzantine Varangian Guard, a part of Byzantine Army and personal bodyguards of the Byzantine Emperors. He saw action on the Mediterranean Sea, in Asia Minor, Sicily, possibly in the Holy Land, Bulgaria and in Constantinople itself, where he became involved in the imperial dynastic disputes.

Harald amassed considerable wealth during his time in the Byzantine Empire, which he shipped to Kievan Rus’ for safekeeping.

“There was so much goods that no man from the north had seen one man possess so much”, says Snorre in his Old Norse kings’ sagas.

A fortune Harald Sigurdsson later used to equip an army and claim the Royal Crowns of Norway, Denmark and England.

Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

Illustration by: Stian Dahlslett ©

Source: Deadline.com

Categories: Culture, Film & TV, Vikings

5 replies

  1. Please hire a tall giant of a man to play Harald. he was WELL OVER 6 feet tall and the original hard ass.

  2. Harald Sigurdsson was the essential warrior king. I sure hope that Hollywood does him justice because his story/saga is epic. This is a chance to set a high standard for historic accuracy, due to modern historical research and archaeology, that has added so much to our understanding of the Viking Age, since the sixties, when the movie the Vikings was produced.
    Here’s hoping.

  3. Di Caprio is a baby face… we need a Hard faced blond giant to play Harold Harddrada!!

  4. DiCrapio is wrong, wrong, wrong. He looks nothing like the Scandinavian-northern Germanic stock from which a Viking would have come from. Harald would likely have been tall, blond or red hair and white skinned with smoky blue/grey eyes, like ice. Political correctness was totally antithetical to Viking existence, and I’d bet DiCrapio would weave PC nonsense into his character, if not the story, thus ruining the whole concept. Get a true Norwegian actor for the role!

  5. As a descendant of this blood line.. I find DiCaprio playing this role un-amusing. I liked him in movies such as inception, but I would dye my hair and don smoky eye-contacts and stand my 6ft tall 205lb body to play the part if it meant anyone but him assuming the part. Hearing of this movie being made had me so very excited and now I am so very disappointed. The actor playing this role should be a bad ass, not a pretty face.

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