Immortals starring Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto and Mickey Rourke opens in theaters nationwide today. Director Tarsem Singh offers a visually stunning retelling of the story of Theseus (Cavill), a heroic young man who must save the world against the bloodthirsty and power hungry King Hyperion (Rourke).
Watch trailer below:
With Hollywood’s everlasting love affair with epic “sword and sandal” stories The Urban Daily offers five classic Greek tales that deserve the silver screen treatment.
Written by the playwright Aristophanes, Lysistrata takes a comedic look at one woman’s mission to end the Pelopennesian War. Lysistratra rallies the women of Greece together to withhold all sexual favors from the men in order to force them to negotiate peace with their enemy. Lysistrata holds the distinction of being one of the earliest pieces of literature to explore sexual politics in a patriarchial society.
The “Real” Clash of The Titans
Although we’ve seen Zeus lording over the fate of mortals below in countless movies, the story of how he came to claim the throne of the gods, is chock full of Freudian overtones. Zeus was the youngest child of Rhea and Cronus, then ruler of Olympus. Due to a prophecy from his own father, Uranus (who Cronos had overthrown as ruler) that he would be usurped by one of his offspring, he devoured his five children. Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in a hidden cave, and when Cronos came to claim the newborn, Rhea handed him a stone wrapped in a blanket, which Cronos quickly swallowed. When Zeus was a young man, he confronted Cronos and emptied the contents of his father’s stomach, freeing his five older siblings, including Hades and Poseidon. For the role of Zeus, look no further than actor Luke Evans, who brings a more youthful and sexier take on the Olympian king in Immortals.
Known as one third of the Gorgon sisters, Medusa is one of the most reviled monsters in Greek mythology. While we know her fearsome appearance was a curse from the gods, the question is, did the punishment fit the crime? In some accounts, Medusa was a beautiful maiden punished by the goddess Athena for having sex with Poseidon in one of her temples. Other stories claim Medusa was raped by the sea god and even though she begged for mercy, was transformed into the snake-haired monster regardless.
Shocking that one of the most epic tales in Greek mythology has never made it to the big screen. While there have been two TV miniseries, Odysseus’ tale of loss and perseverance has yet to fall into the hands of an A-list director. Odysseus is credited with coming up with the genius idea of the Trojan Horse, which helped to bring the war against Troy to a glorious end. The character did get some shine, portrayed by Sean Bean in 2004’s Troy. Bean is one of Hollywood’s underrated actors, as witnessed by his terrific turns in Lord of The Rings and “Game of Thrones.” Playing a king is clearly in his acting DNA–let’s give him a project worthy of his talents.
No, not to be confused with the gun-toting, weed smoking character from Tyler Perry plays and movies. Medea probably has the distinction of being the most tragic female character in Greek mythology. The granddaughter of the sun god Helios, Medea fell in love with Jason (yes of the Argonauts). In exchange for helping Jason get the Golden Fleece, Medea made Jason promise that he would take her away and marry her. When the time came for them to escape, Medea distracted her father by killing her brother, dismembering his body and scattering his parts throughout the country so her father would have to stop and retrieve them for proper burial. Jason kept his part of the bargain by marrying Medea and they had two sons together. Unfortunately the course of true love never runs smooth–when Jason dumped Medea for another woman, she killed her own children, and escaped in a chariot driven by dragons, sent courtesy of her grandfather. Medea gives new meaning to the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
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