SPOILERTV.COM – Whilst not an official renewal as we’ve not yet received the official press releases, this is as good as it gets.
Investors have stumped up €45m to fund the fourth series of Vikings, the History Channel’s hit drama, before a tax-break deadline.
The record funding round was closed on February 12, a day before the Revenue Commissioners ended the Section 481 tax break. It is understood the money will fund 16 episodes of the series, which is largely filmed at Ashford Studios in Co Wicklow and in the surrounding countryside.
Preparatory work has started for the new series and filming is expected to start in May. It brings total tax-break investment in Vikings to more than €120m across four series.
CONTACTMUSIC.COM – Australian actor Travis Fimmel forgoes bathing whenever he is shooting historical drama series Vikings on location in Ireland, because the lakeside cabin he stays in has no form of plumbing.
The star is a big fan of the outdoors and considers himself incredibly lucky to film in such “magnificent” surroundings, but he admits he has one gripe about the accommodations provided.
He says, “(It’s a) beautiful country, the landscape is just magnificent. I’m lucky… we shoot on a lake… and I get to live in a little cabin there and I love it. My goal this year is to get a restroom and a shower…
“I try to save it (showering) for work; I shower in my dressing room… There’s a lake there, so when I’m brave, it’s a very quick run down the lake, without thinking, jumping in and then running back (to his cabin) like a little girl.”
However, Fimmel insists getting to work in Ireland has been a real dream come true.
He adds, “If you see how beautiful it is, it’s just amazing. There’s this beautiful lake, I go water skiing on there and I go fishing so it’s… just tremendous. I get a boat to work sometimes.”
VARIETY.COM – History Channel’s “Vikings” are ready to raid on Feb. 19, kicking off a bloodthirsty third season that will see Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and his horde continuing their exploration of England before setting their sights on the treasures of Paris.
But while Ragnar is now king and thus, according to Fimmel, “has the power to say what we’re going to do,” it won’t be smooth sailing for the reluctant leader, says series creator Michael Hirst.
“He never wanted to become king. He’s never been driven by the ambition for power. His motivating factors are twofold: one is his great curiosity, like the god Odin. And the other is that he does desire fame. Fame was the biggest thing for the Vikings, not celebrity — fame for doing amazing things,” notes Hirst. “So he’s king, but he’s uneasy about being king. He’s acquired power that he never intended to acquire. He is very aware that power corrupts. But it does give him the opportunity to do certain things that he does believe in and he does want to do, and one is to establish the farming settlement in England on the land that King Ecbert [Linus Roache] has given him. That’s perhaps not a very sexy ambition, but it’s actually what happened. It’s what, in the long run, led to the Vikings establishing themselves in England and France and so on.”
Fimmel admits that Ragnar’s restless curiosity and hunger for notoriety are what drive him towards France and the domain of Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau), after his ally Athelstan (George Blagden) notes how strong the French defenses are. “He challenges Ragnar in the way that he says it. Ragnar wants to see if he can beat them.”
He adds, “Ragnar wants to get back to raiding. He’s done the people-pleasing stuff, setting up farms and trying to be a good guy, but he wants to get back to the old raiding that [we saw] in season 1… There are so many issues that come with being a person in power and so many demands and a lot of trust issues. And I think there’s a bit of corruption in everybody, including Ragnar, but his spirit was always about discovery and learning more and that’s what he wants to do. And once he settles the farmers and gets all the political stuff out of the way, he’s going to head to Paris, and he meets his match.”
As a result of his wanderlust, Ragnar’s relationships will once again take a backseat, with his second wife, Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) left back home in Kattegat with their children. Hirst aptly compares the Vikings to rock stars who try to escape the issues in their home lives by going on tour: “[They] need to raid to get away from their girlfriends and wives and responsibilities and children,” he laughs. “I think that the Aslaug/Ragnar relationship was under a lot of strain anyway ever since she saved Ivar. And Aslaug is great this season, and [the story takes her] to different places, unexpected places, some dark places, ultimately, in which she’s reconnecting with her Viking heritage. Her parents, though she didn’t know them, were very famous and she takes hold of that. She stops being so pliant. She stops being apologetic, and it was a very interesting development and arc to write. The arrival of a stranger [played by Kevin Durand] who may or may not be a god, is also a catalyst for her.”
Ragnar’s ex-wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), is also an earl in her own right, and as Winnick notes, “she’s now a free woman. She’s now exploring different lands, and establishing a settlement in Wessex with King Ecbert’s help. She is trying to follow her original dream from season one — she and Ragnar had a dream to explore, and to be able to educate themselves, and to be able to try different resources and give their people more of an opportunity.” Being a free woman also means the possibility for new romantic partners, and this season brings a couple of characters into Lagertha’s orbit for the first time, including Kalf (Ben Robson), her second-in-command.
“That was a bit of a wild card to play, in the sense that the storyline is not fully devolved on camera yet, so me and Ben had to sit down and try to figure out how much do they really know each other? How many years have they worked together? And Ben’s great to work with. He brings a very light side to me,” Winnick previews. “We figured because Lagertha was in a position of power, and then became an earl, I feel like she’s really helped groom him into his position. She also has a very intimate relationship with him, in the sense that she trusts him. He’s probably spent many nights helping her plan, either different raids or just making sure there aren’t any people that are threatening her position. It’s interesting to create that, because we have to start as if we’ve known each other for so many years.”
Despite Lagertha’s new romantic prospects, Hirst admits that she and Ragnar are still inextricably linked: “Despite the fact that Lagertha and Ragnar are divorced, they’re still kind of a couple. They still think along the same lines and want to tell each other things.”
The same goes for Ragnar and Athelstan, whom Ragnar trusts above anyone else. “He’s the only one that [Ragnar] can be honest with — he doesn’t have to act like he’s in control,” Fimmel explains.
Athelstan has been in a state of constant evolution since the show began, but Blagden hints that season three might finally present him with some semblance of balance — at least initially.
“He is constantly changing and he never stops changing as a character, and Michael explained that he hoped this season that [Athelstan] would be reborn. I think that kind of summarizes his journey — we see him being a little bit mischievous at the start of the season,” Blagden teases. “At the end of season two we witnessed a kind of acceptance from Athelstan, with the help of Ecbert, of being able to a) forgive himself and b) find his place in between these two cultures, being content in the discontent; being comfortable in the middle of them… He’s starting to think, ‘actually, I can kind of swing both ways religiously. I can be a multi-faith minister.’ I think he’s a lot more comfortable in himself.”
Hirst maintains that “Vikings” remains “a family saga” which has now evolved into “an extended family saga,” admitting, “I set myself up with all these fractured relationships in order then to address them and find out what happens to them all. A lot of tragedy, I have to say, but I have to raise the ante. It wasn’t just how much bigger it’ll be going to Paris — it’s how much more important the personal issues are too. And the consequences of that are actually quite… ‘significant’ doesn’t even cover it. This season is heartbreaking.”
“Vikings” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on History.
DAILYMAIL.CO.UK – Australian vikings star Travis Fimmel has taken thousands of dollars from his co-star Alexander Ludwig.
Ludwig, who plays Bjorn Lothbrok the son of Travis Fimmel’s character, Ragnar, on the show, described the Australian as a “dingo” and said they play a lot of pool between scenes.
“I love him”, he said to fans on a live Facebook chat.
“I lost two thousand dollars to him so its (playing pool) not AS FUN for me.
Cast members also like “to play golf and Super Mario cart and just be delinquents”, he said.
The hugely popular show, which according to Torrent Freak was the eighth most downloaded show last year, has a dedicated fan base.
It features Australian actors Travis Fimmel and Alyssa Sutherland in the lead roles.
Season three was voted the number one must watch show by Entertainment Weekly for 2015. It will air in Australia on SBS on March 19. But it begins in the United States one month earlier on February 19, a delay that may increase the show’s ranking on the most downloaded list.
During a one hour live Facebook chat on Wednesday Ludwig was forced to face an unusual question.
“Would you consider saving yourself for my teenage daughter?,” the fan asked.
“If only you had asked me years ago.. now I am damaged goods,” Ludwig said.
The Canadian actor says the show’s third season was the most enjoyable to film.
His character, Bjorn, has evolved drastically since the show’s first season and he’s even ok with having to wear his unusual haircut in daily life, he said.
Thanks to the awesome Tony Duran, we have some new outtakes of Travis from his photoshoot for Flaunt. They are HQ and I also added the original ones in HQ too. Also, I added the magazine scans as well.
Catch the premiere episode next Sunday!
etonline.com – Vikings is moving on to bigger and better things!
At the end of season two, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) became king to his people – a position that was thrust upon him and a title he’s still defining. It’s his newfound power that serves as the catalyst for the exciting and dangerous new mission that becomes the prime focus of season three: invading Paris.
“He’s always been driven by curiosity. Ragnar’s always wanted to know what’s on the other side, what other lands there are and he hears about this fabled city of Paris and he wants to go there, he wants to lead a raid there and he wants to see it for himself,” creator Michael Hirst tells ETonline.
In the exclusive first look at the Feb. 19 return, Ragnar boasts of his plan to take Paris to his men, unaware of the challenges and obstacles that await them. A “large part” of the season will be devoted to the Vikings’ raid, and that meant going all out. “They took a hundred ships and three thousand warriors,” Hirst says of the historical event. “For Ragnar and for the production, it meant a big step up.”
Ragnar’s impassioned speech to his men, a scene that was Fimmel’s idea, serves as a preview of what’s in store for his reign as king.
“It’s an example of Ragnar using his power to do something that’s personal and very important to him. He’s driving the Vikings to other lands for good reasons – he wants them to colonize, to put down roots in other places – but he’s also satisfying his own wanderlust,” Hirst explains. “He’s not a conqueror, he’s not into conquest. He’s really more interesting than that.”
Even so, Ragnar’s kingship won’t be smooth sailing. “Ragnar feels the burden of kingship. That has a very profound effect on him. It affects how he thinks, it affects how he operates,” the Vikings boss says, adding that his “personal journey leads him to places he’s never been before – in his mind, in his experience.”
Hirst adds, “I don’t think anyone can actually guess what happens to him.”
Their arrival in Paris leaves much to be desired. For one thing, Ragnar and his men won’t be prepared for just how difficult the city is to break through. Because of that, tensions mount.
“It starts to divide them because they possibly haven’t realized how tough it was going to be. Paris was built by the Romans to be impenetrable – you simply get into Paris, so the Vikings, despite their reputation for inventiveness in battle and fury and violence, they find it a huge obstacle,” Hirst says. “Many, many tensions develop inside the camp.”
As for the actual Paris set, expect massive set pieces – and we’re talking huge. The interior of Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, for instance, was recreated to scale on a soundstage – easily “the biggest set we’ve ever built” – and part of the Roman walls was rebuilt on the backlot. To give you an idea of the scope for the battle scenes: In one sequence, “we had hundreds of extras and stuntmen” climbing up the walls and then “we set fire to the ladders,” Hirst recalls, while “a blizzard of crossbows [flew by].”
If you think you have an idea of how season three will play out, think again.
“You should never second-guess what’s going to happen. This season is full of shocks and surprises and reversals,” Hirst warns. “You just don’t know what is around the corner.”
Are you excited for the return of Vikings? Would you follow King Ragnar to the ends of the earth? Tell us your thoughts by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube, and don’t forget the #ETnow hashtag!
Vikings returns Thursday, Feb. 19 at 10 p.m. on History Channel.