Viking (film)

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Viking (film).jpg
Viking official Russian poster; Danila Kozlovsky as Vladimir I
Directed byAndrei Kravchuk
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on'Primary Chronicle
Kings' sagas
Music by
CinematographyIgor Grinyakin (ru)
Edited by
  • Ilya Lebedev
  • Aleksey Kumakshin
  • Anna Krutiy
Direktsiya Kino
Dago Productions
Channel One
Distributed byCentral Partnership
Release date
  • December 29, 2016 (2016-12-29) (Russia)
  • January 6, 2017 (2017-01-06) (Other countries)
Running time
133 minutes
LanguageRussian, Swedish/Norwegian
Box office$27 million (Russia) [1]
$6.7 million (worldwide)[2]
$33.7 million (Net Gross)

Viking (Russian: Викинг) is a 2016 Russian historical film about medieval prince Vladimir the Great, Prince of Novgorod directed by Andrei Kravchuk and co-produced by Konstantin Ernst and Anatoliy Maksimov. The film stars Danila Kozlovsky, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Maksim Sukhanov, Aleksandra Bortich, Igor Petrenko, Andrey Smolyakov, Kirill Pletnyov, Aleksandr Ustyugov and Joakim Nätterqvist.

The movie is inspired by historical accounts such as Primary Chronicle and Icelandic Kings' sagas.

With a budget of $20.8 million, Viking was the third most expensive Russian film (after two parts of Burnt by the Sun 2) by the time of its release.[3] The movie was met with mixed reviews by Russian film critics,[4] grossed $32.3 million in box office.[1] The film has taken around $25 million at the box office in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, becoming the top-grossing Russian film to be released in 2016.[5]

Viking, the film is scheduled to be released in Russia by Central Partnership on December 29, 2016.


Kievan Rus, late 10th century. After the death of his father, Svyatoslav I, ruler of Kievan Rus, the young prince Vladimir (Danila Kozlovsky) is forced into exile across the frozen sea in Sweden to escape his treacherous half-brother Yaropolk (Aleksandr Ustyugov), who has murdered his other brother Oleg (Kirill Pletnyov) and conquered the territory of Kievan Rus. The old warrior Sveneld (Maksim Sukhanov) convinces Vladimir to assemble a force of Viking mercenaries led by a Swedish chieftain (Joakim Nätterqvist), hoping to reconquer Kiev from Yaropolk.[6]




The film was produced by Konstantin Ernst and Anatoly Maksimov, best known for the Russian urban fantasy/supernatural thrillers Night Watch and Day Watch.[9]

A few scenes were filmed in 2013 to secure funding, a common way to secure finances for large movie productions in Russia. Most of the production was done in March–July 2015. The budget was on par with the Russian WWII epic Stalingrad, 1,250 million rubles (approximately USD$20 million).[10]

The film was shot on several locations in Crimea, including the city of Bakhchisarai, the Taigan Water Reservoir in the Belogorskiy Raion, the medieval Genoese fortress in Sudak, and Cape Fiolent near Sevastopol.[11] Some scenes were filmed in Ravenna, Italy in mid-August 2015. The shooting took place in Basilica of San Vitale and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. This Basilica an important example of early Byzantine architecture in Europe, and was used for scenes set in Chersonesus.[12]

The cast is mostly Russian; however the film does features Swedish actor Joakim Nätterqvist,[13][14] Canada's John DeSantis [7] and Belarusian actress Aleksandra Bortich.

Nätterqvist told Sweden's TV4 that on set he worked with a translator, a Norwegian actor who has lived (and educated) in Russia. Most of his dialog is in a very stripped down amalgam of Swedish and Norwegian, to simulate old norse.[15]

The costume designer traveled to several cities and countries, buying fabric and studying frescoes and museum in China, India, Helsinki, Riga, Novgorod, Stockholm, and Minsk.[16]

The Pecheneg language, an extinct Turkic language once spoken in Eastern Europe (in what today is most of Ukraine, parts of southern Russia, Moldova, and Hungary) in the 7th–12th centuries, was "re-invented" for the movie.[16]

Members of Kazakhstan’s famous Nomad Stunts were responsible for the battle scenes, including the pyrotechnics, explosions and rigging.[17]

Filming Locations[edit]

Principal photography began in March 2015. The full-length scenes of the Viking were filmed in the Republic of Crimea, Russia: on Bakhchisarai, Bakhchysarai Raion, Crimea. In the Taigan reservoir, Belogorsk, Belogorskiy Raion, Crimea. In the Genoese fortress, Sudak, Crimea. In the village Shkolnoe, Simferopol Raion, Crimea. In the Cape Fiolent, Balaklavskiy District, Sevastopol, Russia. Also, the shooting took place at the Glavkino studio.

Later, the scenery of the film was used in the construction of the Viking cinema park. The construction of the facility began in October 2015 on the left Bank of the mountain river Kizilkobinka at the beginning of the ascent to the Red caves. Cinema Park opened in may 2016.


The film will be released in two versions, one family friendly version with an age restriction of 12+, and a complete version, with a rating of 18+.[18] According to Radio P4 Stockholm, the movie will also eventually be released as a TV-series, featuring hours of footage that did not make it into the cinematic release.[19]


The music for the film was composed by Igor Matvienko. The soundtrack was created over two years. Matvienko studied music from the 9-10 centuries, the era of Prince Vladimir. The Gnessin Academy were involved in the recording, using copies of ancient instruments such as (hurdy-gurdy, gudok, tambourines, gusli). The tracks were recorded with these instruments, and then mixed with synthesizers. The final music was assisted by producer Igor Polonsky, arrangers Artem Vasiliev, Aleksandr Kamensky, Rafael Safin, soloist from the City 312 Aya group and many others.

The film's trailers (and part of the movie) was scored by Irish composer Dean Valentine. Valentine's music was recorded with the Orchestra Of Ireland.[20] Valentine is best known for his original music for trailers including Captain America:Civil War, Interstellar and American Sniper, but he has also scored Irish documentaries and motion pictures such as Tiger Raid, and Close to Evil.[21]


UK based Red Arrow International will sell the movie internationally. A screening for potential buyers was arranged at the 2016 American Film Market.[22] They received 200 inquiries from 45 territories to buy the movie. The Russian News Agency reported on January 19, 2017 that ‘Viking’ had been sold to more than 60 countries, including Germany, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, China, South Korea,[23] The United Kingdom, Italy, and most of Latin America.[24]

Viking was released in China on 10,000 screens under a deal closed between Central Partnership and Chinese distributors Flame Node Entertainment and Beijing United Film Artists Co. [25]

The film was released in Germany on DVD and Amazon Prime Video (SVOD service) on April 29.[26] It will have its Swiss premier at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival on July 4.[27]

Viking was released in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2017,[28] and in France on 10 October 2017, at the Absurde Seance festival.[29]

In total, this film has been sold to over 80 territories, becoming one of Russia's biggest international sellers in 2017 year.[30]

The movie was released in the US via Amazon Prime Video in October 2018. [31]


The first official teaser trailer was shown during a closed pitch event with the management of the Russian Ministry of Culture and chairmen of Cinema Foundation of Russia.

In September 2015, Central Partnership distribution studios announced the release date for the film as 22 December 2016. On 19 November 2015, Film Direction and Channel One Russia released the official trailer to the public.

The producers of the film attended Comic-Con Russia, and a large sword fight was performed by the films' stuntmen, replicating a fight scene from the movie.[32]

The set and the scenery used in the production were used to create Russia’s first movie-based theme park, which opened in may of 2016 near the village of Perevalnoye, Crimea.[33]


Despite the overwhelming marketing and advertisement campaign, the reception of the movie in Russian media was mixed to negative.[34][4] Many critics in magazines like Afisha,[35] Time Out Russia [36] and GQ Russia[37] praised the movie's visuals, but derided the story and the biased portrayal of medieval Russians. The public criticised the film for strong Christian propaganda and significant derailment from historical facts, as well as bad camerawork and rather low production quality despite an enormous budget.

Box office[edit]

The film has grossed 1.48 billion (US$25 million) in Russia and was the tenth highest-grossing film in the country in 2016. The film grossed 398 million rubles ($6.7 million) across four territories in the Jan. 5-8 weekend, which earned it a place in the top 10 movies of the international box office.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Викинг (2016) — кассовые сборы — КиноПоиск
  2. ^ Barraclough, Leo (16 January 2017). "Russian Box Office Grows 9.5% to $727 Million in 2016". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  3. ^ Камалетдинов, Дамир (28 December 2016). ""Викинг" Эрнста: денежный вопрос одного из самых дорогих российских фильмов". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b Критиканство. Рецензии на фильм Викинг (2016), отзывы
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Данила Козловский сыграет викинга в одноименном фильме". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Фильм Викинг (2016) - актеры и роли - российские фильмы и сериалы - Кино-Театр.РУ". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  8. ^ Студия актёрских сайтов (25 January 2013). "Данила Козловский :: Викинг". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  9. ^ Todd Brown (18 October 2015). "Get Behind The Scenes Of Russian Period Epic VIKING - ScreenAnarchy". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  10. ^ ""Викинг" стал первым российским фильмом в топ-10 лидеров мирового проката". 13 January 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  11. ^ Студия актёрских сайтов (25 January 2013). "Данила Козловский :: Викинг". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  12. ^ "San Vitale e Galla Placidia diventano set del film russo The Viking - Cronaca". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Arns nya roll - i rysk storfilm". Aftonbladet. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Шведская звезда российского блокбастера о викингах снимет свой фильм". 21 June 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Arn-skådisens oro inför jobbet i Ryssland: "Man har ju hört om det värsta!". TV4 play. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  16. ^ a b правды», Николай ГЕРАСИМОВ | Сайт «Комсомольской (28 December 2016). "Пять интересных фактов о фильме "Викинг"". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  17. ^ "Kazakh stuntmen to star in new Russian historical film - The Astana Times". 16 February 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  18. ^ ""Викинг" с Данилой Козловским выйдет в кино в семейной и жестокой версии". 20 September 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  19. ^ Radio, Sveriges. "Katrin Kisswani var dagens gäst - P4 Extra". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  20. ^ "INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE! 10 Questions with TIGER RAID composer Dean Valentine". 3 November 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  21. ^ "Projects". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  22. ^ Евгения Чирок (28 October 2016). "В Лос-Анджелесе покажут российскую картину "Викинг" » ВладТайм - самые независимые новости". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Russian historical blockbuster 'Viking' to hit world screens". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  24. ^ "Russian epic 'Viking' gets UK, Italy deals". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "На Comic Con представили фильмы "Викинг", "Салют 7" и "Притяжение"". 21 June 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  33. ^ "Кинопарк "ВИКИНГ" | официальный сайт". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  34. ^ Megacritic. Викинг — отзывы о фильме
  35. ^ Afisha. Фильм «Викинг»: рецензия Антона Долина
  36. ^ TimeOut. Викинг | Time Out Archived 30 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Так стоит ли смотреть «Викинга»?
  38. ^ Barraclough, Leo (16 January 2017). "Russian Box Office Grows 9.5% to $727 Million in 2016". Variety. Retrieved 17 January 2017.

External links[edit]