Newsbites: The ancient epic edition!

Newsbites: The ancient epic edition! August 13, 2008

Time to catch up on some history, here.

1. Theseus is making a comeback in War of Gods, and Perseus is making a comeback in a remake of Clash of the Titans (1981). So it must be time for Jason to make a comeback, too, in The Argonauts, a new film being written and produced by comic-book specialist Zak Penn. Apparently there are also three Hercules movies in development at various studios, as well as God of War, “based on the epic Greek myth-inspired vidgame”. — Variety

2. Lionsgate has hired Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain to write the script for the upcoming Conan the Barbarian reboot, and the studio has also picked up their screenplay Amazon, which concerns the mythical female warriors and is currently set to star, uh, Scarlett Johansson. Blackman and McCain most recently collaborated on Outlander, the movie about an alien pursuing a monster with the help of some Vikings. — Hollywood Reporter

3. China Film Group and Dadi Media Group are planning a $22 million biopic about Confucius to mark the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China next year. A “big-budget toon biopic” is also in the works; I wonder if it is related in any way to an animated series on Confucius that was announced last year. — Variety

4. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg will star in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist, a “psychological thriller that evolves into a horror film”. Okay, there is no “ancient epic” hook here, but with a title like that, I just had to include it. And hey, are they really still casting this thing? It feels like von Trier has been saying he’ll shoot this film any-day-now for years. Oh, wait, that’s because he has. — Variety

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  • I’d still love to see someone recast Sean Bean as Odysseus and make a film version of The Odyssey.

  • That could be cool, yeah. But I don’t know if I would want it to be a sequel to Troy, though. Sean Bean was very good as Odysseus in that film, but the film as a whole had a very naturalistic, demythologized tone which might work for a war epic like The Iliad but wouldn’t work at all for a supernatural adventure story like The Odyssey, what with its monsters and witches and visits to the underworld, etc.

  • I wasn’t thinking of it as a sequel, just that Bean was so very good in the role.