August 27, 1999

The 13th Warrior is a 1999 American historical fiction action film based on Michael Crichton's 1976 novel Eaters of the Dead, which is a loose retelling of the tale of Beowulf combined with Ahmad ibn Fadlan's historical account of the Volga Vikings. It stars Antonio Banderas as Ahmad ibn Fadlan, as well as Diane Venora and Omar Sharif. It was directed by John McTiernan. Crichton directed some uncredited reshoots. The film was produced by McTiernan, Crichton, and Ned Dowd, with Andrew G. Vajna, James Biggam and Ethan Dubrow as executive producers.

Production and marketing costs reputedly reached $160 million, but it grossed $61 million at the box office worldwide, making it one of the biggest box office bombs in history and the biggest one of 1999, with losses of up to $129 million.

Storyline

A cultured diplomat joins a band of savage warriors in time to meet an even more fearsome enemy in this historical adventure. In 922 A.D., Ibn Fadlan (Antonio Banderas) is a Muslim emissary from Baghdad en route to meet with the King of Saqaliba when he is captured by a gang of Vikings. While Ibn and his people are intelligent and well-mannered, the Vikings are a rowdy and sometimes unpleasant lot, with an unquenchable appetite for food, alcohol, and women. However, in time he develops an understanding and respect for the Viking warriors and is welcomed into their society by their leader, Buliwyf. However, Ibn must now join them as they return to their homeland once they receive word of an invasion by a huge pack of bloodthirsty invaders who will destroy and eat anything in their path -- including the flesh of the men they have killed.

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