A gritty origin story about… Santa Claus? And he’s a Viking? That’s what studio Sony is betting on after picking up a spec script called Winter’s Knight. Norwegian helmers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki, Pirates of the Caribbean 5) will direct the “Viking-mythology-tinged” tale, based on the 1902 book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by Frank L. Baum.

Santa has roots in pre-Christian Norse mythology and ties to the god Odin, so the revisionist story by newbies Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton isn’t that outrageous of a prospect. From the sound of things, we shouldn’t expect something akin to the deranged Rare Exports (too bad). Think Snow White and the Huntsman or Oz the Great and Powerful instead. Baum’s story has been adapted into a graphic novel and other forms, but this would be the first big-scale retelling of Santa’s beginnings — as a baby found in the forest who is raised by the immortals in the Forest of Burzee.

Would you pay to see Santa channel his inner Viking? Discuss. [via Deadline]

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