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Friday, October 20, 2006: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2006/10/20/outlander-film.html

Film production brings Vikings back to Newfoundland [VIDEO]

 

A millennium or so after Vikings reached Newfoundland shores, dozens of imitators have been walking the beaches of a Newfoundland harbour.

The film Outlander a science-fiction thriller about a group of ninth-century Vikings who encounter an alien monster has been shooting several sequences around Lark Harbour, in the Bay of Islands on Newfoundland's west coast.

"It really has that feel [with] the rocky cliffs and kind of mythic mountains and spectacular scenery that we want," said Don Carmody, an executive producer of the film.

"Maybe it doesn't look exactly like Norway, but we didn't want Norway, or we would have gone there," said Carmody, a veteran of Canadian-based film production whose recent credits include Chicago, Silent Hill and Lucky Number Slevin.

The Bay of Islands, with moss-draped hills and fjord-like waterways, is providing the backdrop for several scenes, including a Viking funeral, complete with a corpse-laden ship that is set on fire.

Don Carmody, an executive producer of Outlander, said the filmmakers were drawn to the scenery of Newfoundland's west coast.

Outlander, which has Passion of the Christ star Jim Cavaziel in a lead role, will feature about 150 local residents as extras. They were outfitted with beards, wigs and Viking costumes.

Production assistant Sarah Jene described the costumes as the most elaborate she has seen on a background cast.

"They brought a bunch of costumes over from Iceland, and everything else was custom-made," she said.

"You can see everything, from the real furs that are draped all about them and lining their boots. Each and every one of them is totally unique."

Filming in the Bay of Islands was scheduled to conclude Friday. The crew then moves to Halifax for about 10 weeks of shooting.

Outlander, which will be distributed by the Weinstein Co., is expected to be released in late 2007.

The set was built about 500 kilometres south of L'Anse aux Meadows, which was proven in the 1960s to be an actual Norse settlement, dating from about AD 1,000. It was designated as a United Nations world heritage site in 1978.

Archeological work in the L'Anse aux Meadows site has fostered speculation that Newfoundland was the legendary Vinland described in Viking sagas.

 

 

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