The Northman: release date, reviews, trailer and everything we know about the epic Viking movie

The Northman
Alexander Skarsgård in The Northman (Image credit: Focus Features)

After making a name for himself with The Witch and The Lighthouse, director Robert Eggers is prepping his third movie, the epic viking action story The Northman. With the critical acclaim that Eggers has drummed up in his career thus far and the cast that he has assembled, The Northman is among some of the most exciting new movies coming out in 2022.

Here is everything that you need to know about The Northman.

The Northman release date

Hailing from Focus Features, The Northman releases on April 15 in the UK an April 22 in the US in movie theaters. The movie is playing exclusively in movie theaters upon its initial release, however, we do have a pretty good idea of when it will head to streaming and we know exactly where that will be as well (at least in the US).

Following an announcement by NBCUnivesral, all Focus Feature movies will get their streaming debuts on the Peacock platform (owned by NBCU) 45 days (at the earliest) after they are released in movie theaters. Peacock Premium, which provides full access to all Peacock content, costs either $4.99 per month (ad-supported) or $9.99 per month (ad-free). 

No streaming premiere has been announced for The Northman.

The Northman reviews

Reviews have made The Northman one to keep an eye on. The Northman currently scores (as of April 19) an 88% "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab), while it has earned an 82 on Metacritic (opens in new tab), as well as the site's "Must-See" designation.

What to Watch's The Northman review says the movie delivers in "bloody, gory spades," but that it also has an interesting perspective on the powers of myth.

The Northman plot

The Northman

Alexander Skarsgård and Anya Taylor-Joy in The Northman (Image credit: Focus Features)

Get ready for a bloody tale of revenge with The Northman, as the official plot synopsis for the movie reads: 

“From visionary director Robert Eggers comes The Northman, an action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father’s murder.”

We can infer a bit more information from the trailer (see below). The murder of the king was done by his own brother when the Viking prince (Amleth) was a boy. Now grown up, he must make a difficult journey back home to take his revenge against his uncle.

The Northman cast

The cast of The Northman is being led by a true Nordic, as a buffed up Alexander plays the adult Amleth, the Viking prince. Skarsgård was most recently seen in a memorable guest turn on HBO’s Succession. Other credits include the 2021 Netflix moving Passing, some previous action experience with Godzilla vs Kong and The Legend of Tarzan, and a number of notable TV roles including True Blood, The Little Drummer Girl and Big Little Lies, for which he won an Emmy (and starred alongside Nicole Kidman).

The Northman Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman in The Northman (Image credit: Focus Features)

Kidman is one of the two leading ladies alongside Skarsgård, playing Amleth’s mother, Queen Gudrun. Kidman of course is an Oscar-winner that has starred in the likes of Moulin Rouge!, Aquaman, The Hours, The Undoing, Nine Perfect Strangers and, most recently, her Oscar-nominated role in Being the Ricardos.

Anya Taylor-Joy also stars in The Northman, playing the character of Olga, who helps Amleth as he sets out on his path of revenge. In addition to starring in movies like Last Night in Soho and the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, Taylor-Joy has history with Eggers, with her leading role in The Witch serving as her breakout.

Other big names in the cast include Ethan Hawke (Before trilogy, Moon Knight) as King Horwendil, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Lighthouse) as Heimir the Fool, Claes Bang as Fjölnir, along with Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (aka The Mountain on Game of Thrones) and actor/musician Björk. 

The Northman

Ethan Hawke in The Northman (Image credit: Focus Features)

The Northman director Robert Eggers

Robert Eggers has quickly established himself as one of the more exciting young filmmakers in Hollywood thanks to his first two movies, The Witch and The Lighthouse. The Witch was a 17th century horror film telling a simple but frightening story, while The Lighthouse is a 19th century-set psychological horror starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.

Eggers continues to dive back into these fantastical time periods with The Northman. He’s skipping the horror this time for a big, bloody action movie, though he will probably sprinkle in the kind of dark, spiritual elements that have been a signature of his early work.

The Northman trailer

The trailer for The Northman is here and it certainly looks like a capital “R” Revenge movie. The trailer shows another supremely detailed world Egger has created, just filled with promises of brutal bits of action more than horror (though there are certainly some allusions to that as well). Watch the full trailer directly below. 

If that wasn't enough action for you, The Northman also has a red band trailer that you can watch right here:

The Northman poster and photos

Check out the official poster for The Northman as well as some additional photos right here:

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).