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WB buys Viking epic starring Skarsgard

'True Blood' star will also produce the potential tentpole

Warner Bros. is doubling down on scribe Chris Boal, having picked up a pair of pitches from the playwright and emerging screenwriter, including a Viking-themed epic that “True Blood” thesp Alexander Skarsgard would star in and produce.

Atlas Entertainment preemptively sold the pitch (working title: “The Vanguard”) to Warners. Boal is set to write the script, which follows two Viking warrior brothers who toil to return to Sweden after being banished to North America.

Additional story details are being kept under wraps, but the project, which the studio is eyeing as a potential tentpole, will be in the vein of “Gladiator” and “Braveheart.”

Charles Roven and Richard Suckle will produce for Atlas, whose Andy Horwitz and Jake Kurily brought the project in and will be involved in some producer capacity.

Skarsgard will make his producing debut with “Vanguard,” signaling the studios’ desire to further business ties with the thesp following his starring turns in Universal’s “Battleship,” Screen Gems’ “Straw Dogs” remake and Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia.”

Jon Berg and Chris Gary will oversee the project for WB.

The other Boal project is a sweeping epic about Roman general Julius Caesar, which Jonathan Liebesman is onboard to direct and Basil Iwanyk will produce through his WB-based Thunder Road banner. Boal is no stranger to the legend of Caesar, having written the play “23 Knives,” which concerns Caesar’s autopsy.

Scribe also directed and produced the behind-the-scenes footage for the DVD release of “The Hurt Locker,” which was written by his brother, Mark Boal.

CAA reps both Skarsgard and Chris Boal, who are also repped by Principal Entertainment and Madhouse Entertainment, respectively.

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