Jonas Åkerlund Directing Norwegian Black Metal Thriller
Lords Of Chaos, the 2003 nonfiction book by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind, is frequently considered to be the seminal text on black metal, even though it focuses almost entirely on a small handful of people and a series of events that transpired during a very short period of time in the early to mid ’90s. Those people and events, of course, are the source of much of black metal’s mythology today: the arson that reduced to ash many of Norway’s ancient stave churches; the murder of Mayhem guitarist and scene leader Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth by his peer (and occasional bandmate) Varg Vikernes of Burzum. It’s a cinematic tale, and there have been numerous failed attempts to make it into a movie. It appears though that this year, a movie will indeed be made!
According to Variety, Lords Of Chaos will be produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free, RSA, and VICE, and shooting will begin on location in Norway this fall. Perhaps most interestingly, it’s being directed by Sweden’s Jonas Åkerlund, who’s best known for his music-video work (which includes Madonna’s”Ray Of Light” and Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” among lots of others), but who was also a member of the first-wave black metal band Bathory for a little while.
The film is set to star Rory Culkin and Caleb Landry Jones, although I’m not sure who’s playing Euronymous and who’s playing Varg — in the pic above, Varg is the guy in the Bathory shirt, and Euronymous is the guy with the devilish mustache in the Venom shirt. Meanwhile, this is what Culkin (left) and Jones look like:
(Pics via Metalsucks)
It’s going to be an English-language film, and I’m genuinely curious how they’ll handle that: American actors doing fake Norwegian accents? That seems like a terrible idea. Maybe they’ll just do that vaguely British-esque affectation employed by people like Madonna and Max Malanphy from RuPaul’s Drag Race? There’s no good solution, honestly.
I’ll see this of course but I fully expect it to be terrible — in no small part because the most detailed description of Euronymous’ murder (and the events leading up to that murder) is Varg’s account, and Varg’s account has never sounded like anything other than total bullshit. (He claims some bizarre form of pre-emptive self-defense.) One of the best-worst things I’ve seen in the last five years is a student film, made by a high school senior for a class project, based on Varg’s account of these events. No matter how bad Åkerlund’s version is (and who knows, maybe it will be great!), it can’t be worse than this:
UPDATE: Mayhem bassist and co-founder Necrobutcher told Rolling Stone about his disapproval for Åkerlund’s film, and adds that he’s been collaborating on a script for a film with a Norwegian production company who has rights to the story:
This book Lords of Chaos is fucking crap and that some stupid Swedes are gonna make a movie out of it is not OK. I will do everything I can to stop this film…. Tell the Swedes and the Hollywood people to go fuck themselves.