Robert Eggers suffered from confusing dialogue in The Northman

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The filming of north manthe third feature film by director Robert Eggers, meant a colossal task thanks to unbenevolent and extremely complex locations set pieces of battle. However, the team’s hardships did not end with the end of filming, because when the time came for post-production, there were new obstacles to overcome. For example, changing some dialogue that would be confusing to test audiences. And the challenge was to make such an alteration only from the editing room; that is, based on the image already filmed.

north man, set in the 10th century, tells a story of revenge with a Viking prince as the protagonist. And although the film is not spoken in Old Norse, Robert Eggers wanted to give the dialogue greater authenticity through Old English, arguing that both languages ​​”are closely related” (via IndieWire).

On the other hand, that search for greater linguistic affinity led test audiences to express confusion with the dialogues. Consequently, Universal Pictures sent notes to the production team to reorder and replace the words in some passages of the film, in the interest of clarity. This led to the stars of the cast – Alexander Skarsgård, Ethan Hawke, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe and Björk, among others – re-recording some lines during post-production. And the biggest challenge was making the new dialogue match the lip movements of the characters.

“You think, ‘Okay, we have 18 syllables. The fifth syllable has to be a T because he pronounces that T very well.’ Maybe you could get away with a D. And then this syllable has to be an S,” Eggers explained in a recent interview with vulture.

For this task, the director had the invaluable support of Sjón, the Icelandic novelist who co-wrote the screenplay for north man alongside Robert Eggers. And in the words of the writer, the process of modifying the dialogues became “the most difficult crossword puzzle you can imagine.”

“Why would you do a historically accurate medieval story that takes place in three countries, involving battles, family feuds, and magical beings, and you don’t expect it to be difficult?”

You might also be interested in: Robert Eggers is not happy with The Witch: “I can’t stand to watch it”

In fact, Robert Eggers has been very vocal about how much he suffered in post-production on his third feature film, particularly because of the feedback coming in from Universal. However, he acknowledges that those studio notes were essential in polishing the project, without ever interfering with his vision.

This is how he explained it in an interview with Cine PREMIERE:

“In the end it wasn’t that different. We just had to cut some unnecessary scenes,” she noted. “The pressure from the studio, which was painful, made the movie better. I proposed to make the most entertaining Robert Eggers movie. And I needed someone other than me to help me get there.”

north man continues to be exhibited in Mexican theaters. Come in here to read the review of the epic film.

The entry Robert Eggers suffered from confusing dialogue in The Northman was first published in Cine PREMIERE.

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