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

Lionsgate sees “franchise” potential in Homer’s epic poems May 22, 2015

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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.

The studio behind Twilight, Divergent and The Hunger Games announced last month that it was working on an adaptation of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, and this morning, in a conference call, they revealed that they might make it a multi-movie “franchise” that is also partly based on Homer’s other epic poem The Iliad.

Deadline reports:

“We have high goals for this one….we’re feeling very, very bullish,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairman Rob Friedman told analysts this morning as execs talked up the financial opportunities for the recently announced epic film from veterans of the studio’s hit Hunger Games franchise.

Indeed, CEO Jon Feltheimer says that Lionsgate’s deal for The Odyssey with director Francis Lawrence “contemplates more than one movie.” And Friedman noted that “there’s also this wonderful book called The Iliad, so we’ve been thinking about the opportunities.”

Feltheimer added that they expect the series to be popular overseas, and particularly in Latin America.

It is not clear to me whether they plan to split The Odyssey into multiple installments a la The Hobbit, or whether they are thinking of doing sequels to Homer’s epic. (Odysseus has to fight his way home again… and again… and again…)

I also wonder what sense it would make to adapt The Odyssey first and then adapt The Iliad, which seems to be the way they’ve prioritized things here.

Ah well, bring it on, I say.

And yes, I am going to keep posting that picture of Sean Bean as Odysseus in Troy — the most recent major adaptation of Homer’s epic poems — until someone casts him in one of these movies or we get an actual picture from the set or something.

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