There’s the Vikings … they’re always good for movies. From Kirk Douglas to Mads Mikkelsen, hats off to them: they always manage to avoid the horned helmet cliché.
And the Golden Age, or at least 50 years before and 50 years afterwards: from Johann Friedrich Struensee to Hans Christian Andersen, this period keeps on getting revisited by filmland.
And the Danish permissiveness that spawned the likes of Nicolas Winding Refn and Lars von Trier – films to shock the world. One still shudders at what would have happened had the DFI not withdrawn its funding for Jens Jørgen Thorsen’s Jesus porno.
Von Trier would have had no-one left to shock.
Queen Margrete film announced
So it’s a breath of fresh air to learn that a historical film set in the late 14th century about Queen Margrete I (1353-1412) has been green-lighted with a budget of 8 million dollars – the going rate for Nordic films, thanks to Netflix – according to screendaily.com.
Taking the helm of ‘Margrete’ is Charlotte Sieling, a Danish TV director known for episodes of ‘Borgen’, ‘The Bridge’, ‘Homeland’ and ‘The Americans’.
Jesper Fink will write the screenplay and Lars Bredo Rahbek and Birgitte Skov will produce, with most of the backing coming from the DFI and SF Studios.
Shooting is expected to commence in the autumn of 2019 in Scandinavia and eastern Europe. The dialogue will be in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English and German.
Nobody can compare
Margrete I is best remembered for unifying the thrones of Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 1397, and Sieling is keen to tell “the true story of the strongest, most fascinating but also most under-exposed ruler that Scandinavia has ever seen”.
“There is no one to compare to Margrete, she was such a strategist,” added Rahbek.
“She gains power and she effectuates it in a different way than a man does.”
Sex and violence promised
Sieling is promising plenty of sex and violence. “It’s a violent time and she has to look over her shoulder,” she said.
“This woman is 50 years old. In this man’s world, she’s in power. And we have to bring her sexual life into that, and her motherhood. We need to explore this woman on many different levels.”
Margrete, Sieling contends, was very much a modern woman. “Margrete made this feminist legislation that any woman who had been assaulted during war could come and get money at her castle,” she said.