Remember “Armitage Election Mode?” It’s the Richard Armitage fan disorder characterized by the compulsion to put his name forward for every conceivable role announced by film studios, BBC and audiobook producers. AEM is raising its head here again in a new way. Currently, the roles for which Mr. Armitage is being touted by his fans are Dawsey Adams in “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society ,” a Kenneth Branagh film; Matthew Clairmont in “The Discovery of Witches” and, on the IMDB Richard Armitage Message Board, “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Oh- and Poldark.
So, a farmer, a vampire, a nobelman, a squire – what about a Viking or an Anglo Saxon? Too much of a stretch?
Warner Brothers announced a future film described as “The Viking Braveheart” with Leonardo DiCaprio as King Harald Hardrada, The Last Viking King, who tried and failed to conquer the English throne in 1066. (Not to be confused with English Harold who tried and failed to defend England against the Normans in 1066).
A second announcement was made about films on the same subject by one of the producers of the LOtR, this time a Viking trilogy, It’s not clear whether both announcements refer to the same project.
But either way, there’s room for Richard.
Most people agree that Tolkien’s dwarves were derivative of Norsemen, so we know Richard Armitage can look like a Viking. Even if DiCaprio plays King Harald, there must be plenty of other Vikings Richard can play – King Knute or Magnus maybe.
Or, Richard could easily play one of the Northumberland lords or other AngloSaxons who conspire with Harald against Edward the Confessor and his successor. We’ve seen him in similar garb before.
Richard’s credentials are perfect: He is a Northern Brit. He’s played a Northern Brit in his tour de force audio performance as Uhtred in “Lords of the North,” in which he demonstrated not only his own accent, but also Danish accents and other British dialects.
He can wield a sword with the best of them – better than Leonardo, I would think. He looks great in those costumes, especially with pelts. We’ve seen him with lighter hair in “The Impressionists” and “Between the Sheets” and he’s certainly tall enough to be a Viking. And if the trilogy turns out to be as promised, any role he took would not necessarily commit him to three films, since the film promises to span many years- so like Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit, he need only show up for one of them.
So, who’s with me? Who elects Richard Armitage to play some role in some Viking movie to be produced by some producer some time in the future? Wouldn’t he be perfect for it?
No? What about Richard Armitage as Judah Maccabbee – the Hebrew Hero?