Pagan Movies That Need To Be Made

Since something as fabulous as Agora is rare and The Wicker Tree seems likely to be disappointing, I’ve been absently daydreaming about what kind of Pagan films I would make if I were a wealthy and powerful movie studio executive.

Sulla

Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix is one of my favorite Roman historical figures and one of those extraordinary people who become so famous they’re known by a single name, like Madonna or Pavarotti. Twice consul, he marched on Rome twice while Julius Caesar was still in short pants, became dictator, and then had the good sense to lay down the power and walk away at the appropriate time. A cunning general and politician, he grew up educated but poor, hanging out with actors and musicians. He maintained a real gift for debauchery his entire life, which was in stark contrast to the discipline he employed in office and on the battlefield. He came into his early fortune by mysterious means, served under the brilliant Gaius Marius only to then march against him later in life. He received the greatest honor a Roman soldier could ever attain: the Corona Graminea. A crown woven of grasses from the battlefield by soldiers whose lives he personally saved, it was a rare achievement. Without Sulla, there would have been no Julius Caesar as he both spared his life and stripped him of a restrictive priesthood, though he did so reluctantly, noting there were many a Marius in the ambitious young lad. Though he tried to prevent it, he was the stepping stone for the fall of the Republic. His boldness led later men, such as Pompey to take the attitude “If Sulla did it, then why not I?”

This is a movie that needs to be made, with Rupert Everett as Sulla, Anthony Hopkins as Gaius Marius and the kid who played Draco Malfoy as Julius Caesar. Draw liberally from Colleen McCollough’s Masters of Rome series to fill out his background and you’ve got quite a film!

Julian

Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus was raised Christian, converted to Neo-Platonic Paganism, became Emperor, began to turn the Western world upside down, and died far too young by getting too cocky on the battlefield. His life was the knife’s edge on which the future of the Western world stood balanced. He was witty, snarky, moral and fearless. Enough drama in his life to make a soap opera look tame. I think Cory Monteith would be an interesting choice. He’s already played an underdog with serious moral conflicts who nonetheless is a successful and inspiring leader. Plus, I think he could rock the beard.

Alex Sanders

When it comes to modern Witchcraft, no one has been quite as flamboyant and influential as Alex Sanders. He consulted on a film with Sharon Tate, managed a rock band, reinvented Wicca and once caught his loin cloth on fire. His life is the stuff of legend, of tall tales and the most fantastic stuff is the stuff that might actually be true. Noel Fielding should play Alex and January Jones should play Maxine. The soundtrack should be full of Pentangle, Fairport Convention and The Rolling Stones.

What movies do you think should be made? One on Z. Budapest’s journey to America? One exploring the legends of Gerald Gardner’s life, including the ritual to repel Hitler? Or maybe a film on the Pagan soldiers who serve our country, and sometimes give their lives for it?

About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • Tara Miller

    The life of Dion Fortune would make a good movie. Heck, even if it was just her experiences she chronicled in Psychic Self-Defense with wolf constructs and all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

      That would be a fabulous movie Tara! I agree, her experiences from Psychic Self Defense in and of themselves are good movie material.
      I’ve also wanted to see The Sea Priestess become a big blockbuster hit since I read it about 10 years ago.

    • http://blog.chasclifton.com Chas Clifton

      Back when he was alive, I told Stewart Farrar that he should do television treatments of Fortune’s Doctor Taverner stories. He agreed that they would translate well to the small screen, but the problem is that her magical order holds tightly to the rights, and he did not think that they would go along. Too bad! Her novels would make decent movies too–now, Star, who should star in The Sea Priestess? William Hurt as the real-estate agent?

      • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

        I know it may get my Pagan card revoked, but I still haven’t read The Sea Priestess. I keep hearing how amazing it is and I’ve had it on my list forever and still haven’t read it.

        That said, I’m a fan of William Hurt in general.

        And for a biography of Dion Fortune, I think Ginnifer Goodwin would be a good choice.

        I thought her books were old enough to be in the public domain now?

      • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

        Hurt seems a little older than what I picture for that character. Perhaps Val Kilmer?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paganswithdisabilities/ Tara “Masery” Miller

    The life of Dion Fortune would make a good movie. Heck, even if it was just her experiences she chronicled in Psychic Self-Defense with wolf constructs and all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

      That would be a fabulous movie Tara! I agree, her experiences from Psychic Self Defense in and of themselves are good movie material.
      I’ve also wanted to see The Sea Priestess become a big blockbuster hit since I read it about 10 years ago.

    • http://blog.chasclifton.com Chas Clifton

      Back when he was alive, I told Stewart Farrar that he should do television treatments of Fortune’s Doctor Taverner stories. He agreed that they would translate well to the small screen, but the problem is that her magical order holds tightly to the rights, and he did not think that they would go along. Too bad! Her novels would make decent movies too–now, Star, who should star in The Sea Priestess? William Hurt as the real-estate agent?

      • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

        I know it may get my Pagan card revoked, but I still haven’t read The Sea Priestess. I keep hearing how amazing it is and I’ve had it on my list forever and still haven’t read it.

        That said, I’m a fan of William Hurt in general.

        And for a biography of Dion Fortune, I think Ginnifer Goodwin would be a good choice.

        I thought her books were old enough to be in the public domain now?

      • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

        Hurt seems a little older than what I picture for that character. Perhaps Val Kilmer?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

    The life of Herman Slater and the Warlock Shoppe/Magickal Childe would be interesting too.

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

      Someone is currently writing his biography. I’m looking forward to reading it.

      • Anonymous

        I know someone is writing a bio of Herman’s partner, Ed Buczynski, but haven’t heard about one on Herman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

    The life of Herman Slater and the Warlock Shoppe/Magickal Childe would be interesting too.

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

      Someone is currently writing his biography. I’m looking forward to reading it.

      • http://twitter.com/ashareem HRM

        I know someone is writing a bio of Herman’s partner, Ed Buczynski, but haven’t heard about one on Herman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

    With Hilary Swank (if she had more meat on her bones) as Dion Fortune.

    • Anonymous

      I saw Hilary just now at Golden Corral and she’s wavin’ them chicken legs like they’s kettlebells. Oh ya, she’s fillin’ out no doubt ‘n she be onya like ‘n y’all’s Maw seed ya fiddlin’ roun’ wit’ you ain’t needa be mess’ wit’!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

    With Hilary Swank (if she had more meat on her bones) as Dion Fortune.

    • foxdog

      I saw Hilary just now at Golden Corral and she’s wavin’ them chicken legs like they’s kettlebells. Oh ya, she’s fillin’ out no doubt ‘n she be onya like ‘n y’all’s Maw seed ya fiddlin’ roun’ wit’ you ain’t needa be mess’ wit’!

  • Magicmary

    I’d like to see a movie of Llamas Night by Katherine Kurtz made. Yes to the Dion Fortune.

    • Windweaver

      That would be a great movie! She actually brought the main character back as a side character in a couple books of the “Adept” series that she wrote later.

    • Windweaver

      That would be a great movie! She actually brought the main character back as a side character in a couple books of the “Adept” series that she wrote later.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

    And though it would be total fiction- it would be really cool to see a fantasy about the life and fall of the sorceress Circe, as a misunderstood priestess and Witch. Raven Grimassi had interesting theories about her in Old World Witchcraft. He could write the screen play  :)

  • Magicmary

    I’d like to see a movie of Llamas Night by Katherine Kurtz made. Yes to the Dion Fortune.

    • Windweaver

      That would be a great movie! She actually brought the main character back as a side character in a couple books of the “Adept” series that she wrote later.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dsalisbury David Salisbury

    And though it would be total fiction- it would be really cool to see a fantasy about the life and fall of the sorceress Circe, as a misunderstood priestess and Witch. Raven Grimassi had interesting theories about her in Old World Witchcraft. He could write the screen play  :)

  • Food4thoth

    I would like to see a biographical piece about Starhawk.

  • Food4thoth

    I would like to see a biographical piece about Starhawk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=685041384 Fanny Fae

    Katherine Kurtz’ book, “Lammas Night” would be an absolutely fabulous Elizabethan /WWII thriller.

    We also need some good documentaries, which is kind of what I am going after now with regard to reconstructionist religions.

  • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

    Sulla played by the late Klaus Kinski carrying out the Proscriptions … I would really like a film about Euripides writing the Trojan Women in 415 BCE

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=685041384 Fanny Fae

    Katherine Kurtz’ book, “Lammas Night” would be an absolutely fabulous Elizabethan /WWII thriller.

    We also need some good documentaries, which is kind of what I am going after now with regard to reconstructionist religions.

  • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

    Sulla played by the late Klaus Kinski carrying out the Proscriptions … I would really like a film about Euripides writing the Trojan Women in 415 BCE

  • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

    (Not surprisingly) I want a full out action, special effects Kalevala movie (but without that pesky stuff about Väinämöinen being sent away to be replaced by Jebus at the end).

  • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com Kauko

    (Not surprisingly) I want a full out action, special effects Kalevala movie (but without that pesky stuff about Väinämöinen being sent away to be replaced by Jebus at the end).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

    I want to see Sumerian legends on the big screen like Gilgamesh’s life, or Al Kahina fighting against the newly converted Arabian hordes into N. Africa.

    I’d really love to see the Estonian Kalev as a mini series or set of movies. And of course Hawaiian film that doesn’t get brushed into obscurity like Princess Kaiulani (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Kaiulani_(film))

    • Angela Raincatcher

      With that in mind, what about Inanna’s Descent as a surreal art house film?

      • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

        direchted by Pedro Almodóvar … or as a ballet or “Tanztheater” in Diaghilev or Pina Bausch style

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

    I want to see Sumerian legends on the big screen like Gilgamesh’s life, or Al Kahina fighting against the newly converted Arabian hordes into N. Africa.

    I’d really love to see the Estonian Kalev as a mini series or set of movies. And of course Hawaiian film that doesn’t get brushed into obscurity like Princess Kaiulani (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Kaiulani_(film))

    • Angela Raincatcher

      With that in mind, what about Inanna’s Descent as a surreal art house film?

      • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

        direchted by Pedro Almodóvar … or as a ballet or “Tanztheater” in Diaghilev or Pina Bausch style

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    For more than five years now, there has been rumor that John Boorman has been developing a film version of Hadrian’s Memoirs, based on the Marguerite Yourcenar novel of the same name.  (Great novel, incidentally, but a bit outdates in some of its suggestions at present.)  Antonio Banderas was floated as a possible Hadrian initially, but then Daniel Craig apparently signed on for the role–and, I think he’d be very good indeed at it.  However, I don’t know if it is going to happen at all…I suspect the destruction of a lot of the sets for Rome in a fire at Cinecitta Studios (near the actual city of Rome!) might have been a major speed-bump in the process, as likewise a film adaptation of Rome was also floated to close up some loose ends from the series, and nothing further has occurred with that either.

    And, for the sheer laughability and excess of it all, a life of Elagabulus would also be great–but, like the film Caligula, it would have to be rated X/NC-17 for certain, as there’s no other way to do it and be remotely accurate than to leave in all of the sex and violence.  And for shits and giggles, why not have someone unlikely but young playing the ill-fated Syrian priest-Emperor, like…I don’t know…Justin Bieber?  ;)

    • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

      the ideal director for a movie about Elagabalus would have been the late Christoph Schlingensief

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    For more than five years now, there has been rumor that John Boorman has been developing a film version of Hadrian’s Memoirs, based on the Marguerite Yourcenar novel of the same name.  (Great novel, incidentally, but a bit outdates in some of its suggestions at present.)  Antonio Banderas was floated as a possible Hadrian initially, but then Daniel Craig apparently signed on for the role–and, I think he’d be very good indeed at it.  However, I don’t know if it is going to happen at all…I suspect the destruction of a lot of the sets for Rome in a fire at Cinecitta Studios (near the actual city of Rome!) might have been a major speed-bump in the process, as likewise a film adaptation of Rome was also floated to close up some loose ends from the series, and nothing further has occurred with that either.

    And, for the sheer laughability and excess of it all, a life of Elagabulus would also be great–but, like the film Caligula, it would have to be rated X/NC-17 for certain, as there’s no other way to do it and be remotely accurate than to leave in all of the sex and violence.  And for shits and giggles, why not have someone unlikely but young playing the ill-fated Syrian priest-Emperor, like…I don’t know…Justin Bieber?  ;)

    • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

      the ideal director for a movie about Elagabalus would have been the late Christoph Schlingensief

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1678081929 Bill Wheaton

    “The soundtrack should be full of Pentangle, Fairport Convention and The Rolling Stones.”  Love it.  Sandy Denny comes to mind.  But Margot Adler, especially because of her role as a reporter.  Cora and Victor Anderson of the Feri Trad, because I think they played an unsung but important role… or Joe Wilson.  

    I second and third the idea of Dion Fortune, but not necessarily from a biographical standpoint.  I would like to see one of her fictional books made into a movie.  Not sure which one.  They were the most important of her works.  Sea Priestess or Moon Magic.

    And, of course, that brings another person to mind, important for me – Jane Roberts who wrote all the Seth books.  Particularly I would like to see the tie in with quantum physics a la “What the bleep do we know”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1678081929 Bill Wheaton

    “The soundtrack should be full of Pentangle, Fairport Convention and The Rolling Stones.”  Love it.  Sandy Denny comes to mind.  But Margot Adler, especially because of her role as a reporter.  Cora and Victor Anderson of the Feri Trad, because I think they played an unsung but important role… or Joe Wilson.  

    I second and third the idea of Dion Fortune, but not necessarily from a biographical standpoint.  I would like to see one of her fictional books made into a movie.  Not sure which one.  They were the most important of her works.  Sea Priestess or Moon Magic.

    And, of course, that brings another person to mind, important for me – Jane Roberts who wrote all the Seth books.  Particularly I would like to see the tie in with quantum physics a la “What the bleep do we know”.

  • Cara Schulz

    “Dies the Fire” would be an awesome movie!

    • Leoninestar

       Dies the Fire was an incredible novel, full of action and great characters! 

  • Cara Schulz

    “Dies the Fire” would be an awesome movie!

    • Leoninestar

       Dies the Fire was an incredible novel, full of action and great characters! 

  • http://www.paganawareness.net.au Gavin Andrew

    No one so far has had the temerity to mention Aleister Crowley… but where would you even start with that particular story?

    • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

      a creepy movie about his childhood?!

    • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

      a creepy movie about his childhood?!

      • Annamkorn

        The Secrets of Dr.Taverner by Dion Fortune.

    • Skullfckr

      Crowley, or Chemical Wedding, depending on your side of the pond, was fun if inaccurate.

  • http://www.paganawareness.net.au Gavin Andrew

    No one so far has had the temerity to mention Aleister Crowley… but where would you even start with that particular story?

    • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

      a creepy movie about his childhood?!

      • Annamkorn

        The Secrets of Dr.Taverner by Dion Fortune.

    • Skullfckr

      Crowley, or Chemical Wedding, depending on your side of the pond, was fun if inaccurate.

  • Anonymous

    Symmachus and Roman Paganism’s last stand. A deadpan Bill Murray would fit the bill.

  • foxdog

    Symmachus and Roman Paganism’s last stand. A deadpan Bill Murray would fit the bill.

  • Anonymous

    Tara. Such a rich Celtic name. The Red Earth of Tara. Ever notice the French word, la terre–the earth. You are Tara, nay, Terrestria! Womyn of Urth

  • foxdog

    Tara. Such a rich Celtic name. The Red Earth of Tara. Ever notice the French word, la terre–the earth. You are Tara, nay, Terrestria! Womyn of Urth

  • http://sercalunna.tumblr.com Sercalunna

    I would like to add “Medea” by Pierpaolo Pasolini to the list of “Great Pagan themed Movies

    “Cassandra” from Christa Wolf’s book would be a great movie.

    @Star: I would suggest Raul Bova (http://www.raoulbova.it/Raoul/English_Version/english_version.php?m=22&l=it) who surely has the phisique de role for a Roman Emperor like Julian was :)