Netflix’s new Vikings a boost for Irish film sector

The Irish audio-visual sector has received the welcome news that Netflix is to film its new Vikings series in Wicklow.

This morning (20 November 2019) Netflix revealed that shooting is to begin on Vikings: Valhalla, a new original series from creator Michael Hirst that continues the storytelling of his beloved epic Vikings saga.

The new saga begins 100 years after the original series concludes and dramatizes the adventures of the most famous Vikings who ever lived – Leif Erickon, Freydis, Harald Harada and the Norman King William the Conqueror (also a Viking descendant).

“I am so happy that we are returning to Ireland and Ashford Studios in glorious County Wicklow, which has been our home for the last eight years. Our Irish crew, in my opinion, is the best and most professional crew in the world”

These men and women will blaze new paths as they fight for survival in an ever changing and evolving Europe.

This is the explosive next chapter of the Vikings legend that originally told the story of Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok and his descendants over the course of five seasons for the History channel, spanning adventures in England, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

Valhalla for Vikings fans

“I am beyond excited that we are announcing the continuation of our Vikings saga,” said Hirst. “I know that the millions of our fans across the globe will be thrilled by the belief being shown in our show by MGM and Netflix. Jeb Stuart, a truly wonderful writer, will bring new story-lines and a powerful visceral vision to stories about some of the most famous vikings known to history.

“And, on a personal note, I am so happy that we are returning to Ireland and Ashford Studios in glorious County Wicklow, which has been our home for the last eight years. Our Irish crew, in my opinion, is the best and most professional crew in the world. And it has been a particular joy to me, shared with my producer Morgan O’Sullivan, that we have been able to give continuous employment to many hundreds of Irish men and women. Ireland is well known for its support of writers and drama and Vikings has benefitted, and will now continue to benefit, from both that cultural and financial support. Making a great show isn’t a mechanical activity; it’s a human one!”

Streaming platform Netflix has promised that the new generation of Vikings shows will preserve the spirit of the much-loved series.

“Vikings: Valhalla promises to be everything that fans love about the franchise: heart-pounding, unstoppable action rooted in rich characters and dramatic storytelling that shines the light on family, loyalty and power,” said Channing Dungey, vice-president, Original Series, Netflix.

“We are thrilled to bring the next iteration of the Vikings saga to life with Michael Hirst, Jeb Stuart, Morgan O’Sullivan and MGM Television.”

MGM said that ultimately fans will be the real winners.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Michael, Morgan, Jeb and Netflix on the next chapter in the incredible Vikings universe,” Steve Stark, MGM’s President of Television Production and Development explained.

“Valhalla has been a labour of love for everyone involved and as we look ahead to the continuation of this great saga, we are excited to know that fans the world over will have the opportunity to continue with the series on its new home at Netflix.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 20 November, 2019