Just in time to celebrate his release from prison, Varg Vikernes, the man behind Norwegian black metal band/project Burzum, is about to be immortalized on film. In what may be the ultimate punishment for his many crimes, he’ll be played by Jackson Rathbone, recently seen as the blond, extra-weird, ultra-mopey vampire Jasper Hale in Twilight.
Vikernes has already been angry about the way he was portrayed in the book Lords of Chaos, which documented a string of church burnings in Norway and the stabbing death of Øystein Aarseth, aka Euronymous of the band Mayhem. Vikernes was convicted for the 1993 murder of Euronymous, who was stabbed 23 times, and for arson in relation to three church burnings. His sentence was 21 years. Vikernes served 16 years, and was released in March of this year.
Lords of Chaos isn’t a great journalistic work, but it does capture a certain essence of the wild Norwegian metal underground of the early ’90s. It will be brought to film by Japanese director Sion Sono (Suicide Club, Love Exposure), who’ll be making his first film outside Japan.
If nothing else, this is a good time for the film. Black metal, truly underground when things went bad between Vikernes and Euronymous, was still under the radar when Lords was initially published. The book was the beginning of a wave of media attention that has brought the genre as close to mainstream as it’s going to get. At this point, if I heard Wolves in the Throne Room in a Prius commercial, I wouldn’t be surprised.
The film shoots in Norway in September. Before it hits, you’ll have a chance to chuckle at Rathbone in New Moon and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender.