Fandoms Collide As Vikings' Alexander Ludwig Joins Arrow Vet Stephen Amell For New Show

vikings alexander ludwig bjorn history
(Image credit: History)

Vikings will wrap after its upcoming sixth season on History, but that doesn't mean the whole cast will be gone from the small screen. Alexander Ludwig, who plays Bjorn on the History drama, has already landed a new gig, and it will take him face-to-face with an Arrow-verse superhero vet. Ludwig joins Arrow's Stephen Amell for the upcoming Starz drama Heels. With Arrow ending as well, Heels guarantees that these long-running TV stars won't be gone from TV for too long. So, what's in store?

Alexander Ludwig is on board Heels as the co-lead opposite Stephen Amell, and they'll be playing brothers who also happen to be rivals. Their family owns a wrestling promotion, and brothers Ace (Ludwig) and Jack (Amell) battle over the legacy of their father, who has died. The show takes place in a Georgia community known as Duffy and follows the stories of men and women alike immersed in the world of professional wrestling in a small town.

Heels sounds like it should involve a fair amount of action for the two brothers, so it bodes well that the men who played Bjorn Ironside on Vikings and the Green Arrow on Arrow know how to handle themselves in stunt sequences, even if Alexander Ludwig hasn't always been able to do the stunt sequences he wants. Hey, Stephen Amell even has wrestling experience! Something tells me this isn't just going to be the Starz version of GLOW.

Both Ace and Jack play their parts in the ring, with Alexander Ludwig's ace as the good guy and Stephen Amell's Jack as the bad guy, or "heel." As such, Deadline reports that Ludwig as Ace is beloved and a town idol, but he has to deal with "insecurities and demons" in real life. Charismatic and handsome, he's also arrogant and perhaps even a danger to himself. And it certainly sounds like his brother won't be the most supportive person in his life. Are Ace and Jack the hero and the "heel" in life as well as the ring?

Heels will run for eight episodes of an hour each on Starz, with -- somewhat oddly enough -- Yes, Dear's Mike O'Malley on board as showrunner. Michael Waldron, who has also been attached to Disney+'s Loki series, wrote Heels.

There are no details at this point about when Heels will debut on Starz, but it may be a while off. The good news is that Stephen Amell will be back on the airwaves within the month for the final season of Arrow on The CW, and Alexander Ludwig's promised not so long ago that the final season of Vikings is "coming soon." His casting on Heels may be a sign that Bjorn -- or at least, Bjorn of an age that Ludwig can believably play him -- may not be involved in the spinoff series in the works to follow the end of Vikings.

Only time will tell. At least Alexander Ludwig and Stephen Amell look somewhat similar enough that it shouldn't take too huge a jump to the conclusion that their characters are brothers. I do wonder if Amell or Ludwig will play their character at a different age from their own. Amell is currently 38-years-old, while Ludwig is only 27. They could be brothers with a sizable age differences, or Heels could take some liberties. We'll have to wait and see.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).