‘Vikings’ renewed for fifth season as Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers joins cast

History has commissioned a fifth season of Irish co-produced drama series ‘Vikings’ with Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers joining the cast in an unspecified role.

Production of the new 20 episode season is expected to begin in the summer, with the series premiering in 2017. Rhys Meyers has previously starred in ‘The Tudors’ – another acclaimed period drama which was shot in Ireland and created by Michael Hirst. That series ran from 2007-2010 with Rhys Meyers garnering Golden Globe and IFTA nominations for his role on the show, winning the IFTA in 2008. Rhys Meyers has recently completed work on thriller ‘Damascus Cover’ as well as an upcoming ‘Roots’ remake.

‘Vikings’ has been a critical and commercial hit since premiering in 2013. It is now the number one telecast on Thursday nights on cable in all key demos in Live +3, drawing in 4.2 million total viewers. It has also just been nominated for five IFTA Awards, including Best Drama.

The first four series of ‘Vikings’ were shot in Co. Wicklow with production in Luggala and Ashford Studios. There were approximately 400 Irish people involved in the production of the series. A number of key Irish professionals involved included director Ciarán Donnelly, costume designer Joan Bergin, production designer Tom Conroy and cinematographer PJ Dillon. A total of 8000 extras were sought for the fourth season of the show.

Irish Executive Producer Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000 Entertainment said: “I am thrilled that Vikings is once again a success in the United States and across the world. A big thank you to the History Channel and MGM for their huge support and congratulations to the many hundreds of people in Ireland and Canada who work tirelessly on the show to make it a success.”

From creator and sole writer Michael Hirst, ‘Vikings’ is inspired by the sagas of Icelandic Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France.

Hirst serves as executive producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000, Sheila Hockin, John Weber of Take 5 Productions, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer and James Flynn.

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