Jakob Oftebro og Kristofer Hivju i Birkebeinerne

Nils Gaup’s new film The Last King (Birkebeinerne), starring Jakob Oftebro and Kristofer Hivju, has opened to strong admission figures in Norway. The historical epic opened to 67,536 admissions – only being beaten by Deadpool.

The Last King is based on the true story of a civil war in Norway in 1206. The King’s illigitimate infant son, Håkon Håkonsson, which half the kingdom wants killed off, is guarded in secrecy by two men. The title, Birkebeinerne, refers to a rebellious party in Norway that were named after their shoes being made from birch bark due to poverty. They are most well known for having escorted the two year old Håkon Håkonsson to safety from Lillehammer to Østerdalen to Trondheim.

The Last King has generally positive reviews across Norway. Cine.no says that Hivju and Oftebro are strong and highly experienced and the action sequences are big and dramatic, saying that the film should bring Norway to the Oscars in 2017, and Side2.no states that Gaup knows how to work the outdoors, and there is a particularly beautiful scene under the Northern Lights. Overall, the reviews say that the film will be widely popular to Norwegian audiences, and will follow the blockbuster style that The Wave brought last year.

The Last King has been sold to sixty countries around the world, though no official release dates have been mentioned.