History’s first scripted series Vikings will be back for a fifth season and has also recruited actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers to join its already expansive ensemble. The network made both announcements Thursday.
Currently in the middle of its fourth season, Vikings has scored a pick-up for 20 new episodes to make up season five. Production on the next season will start this summer before it airs sometime next year. Presumably, History will split the 20 episodes into two 10-episode batches, as they are doing with the current cycle.
The sixth episode of season four airs this coming week and here’s a preview clip of what’s ahead:
No details were given on what character Rhys Meyers will be playing when the show returns, but it’s not surprising that he’s joined the cast. Vikings is created and written by Michael Hirst, who also created The Tudors, the Showtime series that starred Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII from 2007 to 2010.
The actor was nominated for a Golden Globe for that role, and won one several years before for his portrayal of music icon Elvis Presley in Elvis.
His last TV series regular part was in NBC’s short-lived Dracula two years ago, but he’ll next be seen as Tom Lea in History’s new version of the miniseries Roots, which will premiere this Memorial Day.
Rhys Meyers is part of an ensemble cast that also includes Forest Whitaker, Matthew Goode (The Good Wife), Erica Tazel (Justified) and James Purefoy (Hap and Leonard, The Following).
Vikings airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on History. For more on the current fourth season, check out our interviews with cast members Alexander Ludwig, Morgane Polanski, and Dianne Doan.
Are you happy that Vikings has been renewed for another season? Excited that Rhys Meyers will be joining the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.