The Unrealized Project of Stanley Kubrick
"In Viking-era Iceland, a lowborn squire strives to win the hand of his beloved whose highborn family and rival clan oppose their union, as he singularly rises to become one of the mightiest warriors who ever lived."
Written by Henry Rider Haggard and first published in 1890, The Saga of Eric Brighteyes is a Viking-era romance novel inspired by the Norse sagas that tells of the adventures of its eponymous hero in 10th century Iceland. Beloved by two women, the light and dark half-sisters Gudruda the Gentle and Swanhild the Witch, Eric undergoes trials and adventures to escape the wrath of his enemy Ospakar Blacktooth. Haggard, who had pioneered the Lost World story genre, was also the chief inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion).
According to the Stanley KubrickArchive Oral History Project Web Video Series, Kubrick's eldest daughter Katharina mentions the book as one "...he was particularly interested in" and "...had he lived, I'm sure he would have done it." Frequently cited as one of the greatest and most influential directors in cinematic history, his films (Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange) were mostly adaptations of novels or short stories, covering a wide range of genres.
This screenplay adaptation expands on the characters and events in the original story. As is often the case in such adaptations of myth-based episodic story structure with static character progressions, the screenplay is only loosely based on the characters and events in the book and should be considered a derivative work. For that reason, I strongly encourage the readership of this story to also read the original text.
Yours in Film Making,
October 12, 2017