The original pic followed the exploits of warring tribes in ancient Norway. But in the new version, with a script by screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis (Oliver Stone's Alexander and James Cameron's upcoming Battle Angel), story concerns the little-known skirmishes that took place between the Vikings and Native Americans a thousand years ago.
When a Viking boy is left behind, he is adopted and raised as an Indian despite his straw-blonde hair. When a Viking raid wipes out his village, he becomes his adopted people's savior in battling the Norsemen.
Phoenix is in negotiations with the Oscar-nommed Kensaku "Ken" Watanabe (The Last Samurai) to topline the epic tale. He's lensing Sony's adaptation of the bestselling Arthur Golden novel Memoirs of a Geisha, under the helm of Rob Marshall.