Vikings Valhalla Season 3 Tribute: Who is James Flynn? How did He Die?

Image Credit: Bernard Walsh/Netflix

In Netflix’s ‘Vikings: Valhalla,’ the audience witnesses a thrilling and adventurous journey of three Viking warriors— Freydis, Leif and Harald. Set in the final years of the Viking Age, the show begins with the three protagonists converging in Kattegat, fuelled by their own desires. Some seek vengeance and justice, while others seek the crown and the glory. Despite the differences between them, they are drawn to each other, and their lives become entangled so that they can never truly be separated.

Over the course of three seasons, we see Freydis, Leif, and Harald on countless adventures, sometimes together and sometimes on their own. The show brings their stories to life in a magnificent display of accurate depiction of the time period. It takes a lot to bring together all the elements and create a show of such magnitude, which is a testament to the dedication of the people working behind the scenes. The first episode of the show’s final season pays tribute to James Flynn, who made a name for himself by leaving an indelible mark on the film and TV industry.

James Flynn Died Following a Short Illness

James Flynn died on February 11, 2023, at the age of 57. He was diagnosed with cancer the previous December and fought the illness with “courage, dignity, positivity, and discretion to the very end.” He is survived by Juanita Wilson, his partner in life and profession, and their two children, Alex and Anna, who said that Flynn approached the illness as “something that he could stick his head down and solve just like everything else in his life with zeal and positivity” and “fought like hell until the very end.” His loss reverberates as a huge loss through the Irish film community.

Flynn served as an executive producer on ‘Vikings: Valhalla,’ after playing the same role for its predecessor, ‘Vikings.’ The producer is credited with backing TV productions like this, including but not limited to ‘The Tudors’ and ‘Penny Dreadful,’ which he brought to Ireland. He is also known for his work on critically acclaimed movies like ‘Angela’s Ashes,’ ‘Nora’ and Martin McDonagh’s ‘Calvary’ and ‘The Banshees of Inisherin.’ In his final years as a producer, he was also attached to projects like Ridley Scott’s ‘The Last Duel’ and Disney’s ‘Disenchanted.’

James Flynn was a Massive Force in the Irish Film Industry

Born on August 21, 1965, in Kilmacud in Dublin, James Flynn graduated with a degree in commerce from University College Dublin. He was employed at Merlin Films, owned by John Boorman, where he began his journey in the film industry. In 1993, he was one of the first people appointed to the newly rejuvenated Irish Film Board, for which he served as the deputy chief executive. He was only thirty then, yet he took to his work with unparalleled diligence. Described as a “huge cinephile,” Flynn’s love for the films was reflected in his enthusiasm for the work, aided by his “lovely open nature,” making it easy for him to get along with anyone.

In 1997, he co-founded Metropolitan Film Productions with Juanita Wilson, whom he married the next year. Over the course of years, their production house emerged as one of the prominent ones in Ireland, and it soon expanded to international features. In 2010, two films, ‘The Door’ and ‘The Secret of Kells,’ on which film had served as a producer behind the scenes, were nominated for Oscars. Over the years, he continued backing films and TV shows that would garner critical acclaim while also serving as a launching pad for some of the most promising Irish actors.

Described as “absolutely honorable in all of his dealings” by Neil Jordan, James Flynn is remembered for being a supportive force who “took genuine pleasure in the success of his peers.” His contribution to bringing huge productions to Ireland and making the country an obvious choice for filmmakers to set camp at while making their films cannot be overstated. He is rightfully credited with being one of the important forces behind changing the film and TV scene in Ireland, and losing him is a great blow to the film and TV industry.

Read More: Vikings: Valhalla Season 3 Time Jump, Explained