We’ve seen quite a few movies based on pagan European mythology over the last few years, from Clash of the Titans and its sequel to the Percy Jackson movies and the Thor superhero flicks. And of course, there are quite a few Bible movies in the works right now too, some of which, such as Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, will borrow heavily from post-biblical myths and legends. But now comes word that an even older religious-mythological system is about to get the epic-fantasy treatment.
The Hollywood Reporter says three actors have been tapped so far to star in Gods of Egypt under the direction of Alex Proyas, whose last film Knowing took some of its key images and ideas from the Old Testament; he also came very close to directing a big-screen version of John Milton’s creation epic Paradise Lost, starring Bradley Cooper as Lucifer, before the studio decided to pull the plug.
In Gods of Egypt, Gerard Butler will play the desert god Set, who kills his brother Osiris as part of a larger plan that will eventually target their father, the sun god Ra, played by Geoffrey Rush. Osiris’s son Horus, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, tries to get revenge and fails, losing an eye in the process, and then has to team up with “a young human thief in love with a slave to help defeat the mad god.”
Evidently some tweaks have been made to the original mythology, since the father of Set and Osiris in ancient Egyptian myth was someone named Geb, not the better-known Ra. The basic premise of the movie, with its rival brothers and its plot involving their father, also vaguely reminds me of the Zeus-Hades-Kronos triangle in Wrath of the Titans, though it sounds quite different in some ways, too.
I would be curious to know if any modern-day pagans have any thoughts on this film. Two years ago, Eric Scott, a modern-day worshiper of the Norse god Thor, wrote a couple of posts about the Marvel Studios movie Thor for the website Killing the Buddha — one before the movie came out and one after — in which he explored what it was like to see his chosen mythology turned into movie-based toys etc.
Perhaps there are some modern-day devotees of Ra or Horus who would have similar thoughts about this film, and what it has done to the original Egyptian myth?