Lionsgate sees “franchise” potential in Homer’s epic poems

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It took ten years for the Greek hero Odysseus to come home from the Trojan War, and if Lionsgate has its way, it could take that long to tell his story on the big screen.

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Timur Bekmambetov says the chariot race in his version of Ben-Hur will be inspired by YouTube videos

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Timur Bekmambetov is currently out there promoting the horror movie Unfriended, which he produced, and along the way he has been fielding questions about the remake of Ben-Hur, which he is currently shooting in Rome. And, just as Unfriended was inspired by Skype, Bekmambetov has revealed that his own version of Lew Wallace’s “tale of the Christ” will be influenced by social media too.

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The Hunger Games team prepares to go on an Odyssey

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The final Hunger Games movie isn’t even finished yet, but the people making it have already got their next would-be blockbuster lined up.

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Box-office update: Guardians of the Galaxy breaks more records while the “faith-based” genre underperforms

guardiansofthegalaxyThis is my first box-office update since July, and a lot has happened since then.

The big news, of course, is the phenomenal success of Guardians of the Galaxy, a film that was based on one of the more obscure Marvel properties, had no major stars, and revolved around some pretty wacky ideas (like a talking, machine-gun-toting raccoon), yet still managed to become the top-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe movie without Iron Man, at least in North America.

Overseas, it ranks behind all of the Marvel sequels, but ahead of all their other “original” films except for The Avengers — and that was really kind of a super-sequel, too. So you could say that, worldwide, Guardians of the Galaxy is the top-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that introduced a new set of characters.

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Stalingrad director to tackle Greek-myth flick Odysseus

It took the mythical Odysseus ten years to get home from the Trojan War — twenty if you start counting from the day he left his wife and son behind in Ithaca — and the way things are going, it just might take that long for Warner Brothers to get its long-in-development movie about Odysseus off the ground, too.

Still, at least the studio hasn’t given up on the idea. Deadline reports that the project is still in development, and that Warner has hired a Russian filmmaker named Fedor Bondarchuk, who recently directed the 3D IMAX movie Stalingrad, to direct their adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey from a script by Jeremy Doner.

The film was first announced five years ago when Warner bought a spec script by Ann Peacock, a screenwriter whose credits include an early draft of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The director attached to the project back then — when it was billed as “a bloody relentless revenge movie” — was Jonathan Liebesman, whose credits include Wrath of the Titans and Battle: Los Angeles.

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Sympathy for the snake-haired monster Medusa

The Greco-Roman revival lives on — and so, perhaps, does the recent interest in feminist revisionist origin stories.

Sony Pictures Animation announced last week that they are now developing a film about Medusa, the creature from Greek mythology who had snakes for hair and could turn anyone into stone if they looked directly at her.

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