Kristian Eivind Espedal, better known to black metal fans as Gaahl, has a legendary (and more than a little scary) reputation in the music world. His larger-than-life persona will really come into play when he steps in front of the camera for Escape, a gritty new Medieval thriller from director Roar Uthaug – whose snowbound slasher Cold Prey (Fritt Vilt) became a sleeper hit in 2007 and spawned two sequels. The first news about Gaahl's role in Escape came out this week, and we've got more details below, so hit the jump and read on...
We recently reported on Gaahl's eerie dark ambient project Wardruna, whose songs are based on ancient Norse mythology and musical traditions. But Gaahl's bloodiest mark in the music world was earned through his years in Gorgoroth – one of the most notorious bands of Norway's black metal movement in the '90s – as well as his brief time in prison for violently assaulting a man and drinking his blood. (You can see more of his story in the acclaimed documentary True Norwegian Black Metal, currently available on YouTube).
Escape (Norwegian title: Flukt), which began production in September, is set in the remote Norwegian countryside in the year 1363, and sounds a bit similar to Christopher Smith's recent sleeper hit Black Death. The story involves a desolate, post-plague Norway split into nomadic bands of survivors and vicious gangs who occupy the mountains. Co-starring with Gaahl is Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, who portrays the leader of one of these outlaw bands.
"Escape should be a grand adventure that takes us back to a time that is little described in Norwegian film," the director said. "It should be an epic roller-coaster ride of a thriller."
The film is set for release in Norway next September, and will likely be making the festival rounds... more news coming soon, so stay tuned!