Can you buy Leo as a Norseman? Mel Gibson wagers that you can, and he’ll be directing a (presumably epic) period piece about the famous culture of country-discoverers, warriors, pillagers, plunderers, and serial rapists.

This comes from Variety, who assumes Leo will sneak in another film (he just finished shooting Inception, so he could squeeze something in after promoting Shutter Island) while Gibson prepares this as his next project. The screenplay will be penned by William Monahan (The Departed, Body Of Lies), and produced by Graham King, who is involved with all parties on different projects and brought them together for this material.

The Viking culture is a natural fit for Gibson who likes to bring “realism” and grit to iconic cultures with his merciless (sometimes to the point of being exploitative) style. DiCaprio as a viking is little less obvious- Leo has developed a confident ability to convey intensity, but I’m not sold on his ferocity chops.

It seems Gibson will be following his typical pattern of producing the film with intent to find distribution later (worked out for him so far). The plan is to get this in front of cameras in a little bit less than a year, but the picture will become clearer as the script is finished and more casting announcements are made.

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