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Mel Gibson to make Viking blockbuster

Mel Gibson is to follow up Braveheart with a film about the Vikings, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and scripted in a mixture of Old English and Norse.

The Hollywood actor and director was panned by scholars for his 1995 biopic of William Wallace, amid claims it contained major historical inaccuracies. However, it went on to win five Oscars, including best picture, and took $200m (€141m) at the box office.

Gibson's fascination with British history has led him to develop his new film, which will chronicle the Viking raids on England and Scotland in the ninth century.

The language will be true to the period and the film will be subtitled. Gibson made The Passion of the Christ in a mix of Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew, while Apocalypto had a script entirely in Mayan.

Of the as-yet-untitled Viking epic, Gibson said: "I think it's going to be [in] English - the English that would have been spoken back then - and Old Norse. Whatever the ninth century had to offer. I'm going to give you real.

"The very first idea I ever had about making a film was when I was 16 years old and I wanted to make a Viking movie. And I wanted to make it in Old Norse, which I was studying at the time. That was the first big, epic, wacky idea I ever had."

As with The Passion of the Christ, Gibson plans to include unsparingly violent scenes for added realism. "I want a Viking to scare you. I don't want a Viking to say, 'I'm going to die with a sword in my hand'," he said. "I want to see somebody who I have never seen before speaking low, guttural German who scares the living ---- out of me coming up to my house."

The script is being developed by William Monahan, who wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-winning crime drama The Departed. Work is expected to begin in the autumn.

Producer Graham King said: "This will be an awe-inspiring story."

© Telegraph.co.uk