Production has today got underway on Irish producer Morgan O’Sullivan’s €30m TV series ‘Vikings’ at Ashford Studios in Ballyhenry, Co Wicklow, with Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects) and Travis Fimmel (Tarzan) among the lead cast.
The History Channel series – which will shoot for 18 weeks in total – is the first production to use the newly-built €22m Ashford Studios, which opened its doors to ‘Vikings’ last April for pre-production.
The nine-part series will chronicle the world of the Norsemen during medieval times and has been created and written by Michael Hirst. Hirst has previously worked with O’Sullivan’s World 2000 productions on ‘Camelot’ and ‘The Tudors’, both of which were made at Wicklow’s Ardmore Studios.
Swedish director Johan Renck will helm the first three episodes of ‘Vikings’ from today (July 9) with Ireland’s Ciaran Donnelly (The Tudors) and Ken Girotti (Rescue Me) to take the reigns of the second and third block of episodes respectively.
Other cast attached to the series include ‘Glee’ actress Jessalyn Gilsig, actor Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back), Clive Standen (Camelot) and ‘Bones’ actress Katheryn Winnick. Irish actors Eric Higgins (The Tudors) and Gerard McCarthy (The Fall) have also landed roles.
Canada’s Take 5 Productions will co-produce the series while MGM will distribute it outside of Ireland and Canada. World 2000 will retain the Irish distribution rights.
Key Irish crew attached to the project include line producer Séamus McInerney, costume designer Joan Bergin and production designer Tom Conroy. Dee Corcoran is looking after hair while Tom McInerney is on make-up.
Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Bartley (The X Files) is the director of photography. Morgan O'Sullivan will produce for World 2000 while John Weber will produce for Take 5 Productions. The show’s executive producers include Alan Gasmer, Michael Hirst and Sherry Marsh. All post-production on the series will be carried out in Canada.
The series has received funding of €250,000 from the Irish Film Board.