Classics Movies By the Dozen

Posted on March 4th, 2010 by

(thanks, Sasa)

from The Independent.

The Romans (and Greeks) are coming! Classical myths, legends and almost-true stories are about to invade a cinema near you

They came, they saw, and – in a bid for box-office glory – ransacked the props room for swords and sandals. A phalanx of films based on the myths and history of ancient Greece and Rome – from the killing of the snake-haired Medusa to the doomed love of Antony and Cleopatra – is about to hit cinema screens thanks to the runaway success of the bloodthirsty Spartans film, 300, which saw audiences stump up nearly £300m in 2007 to see a retelling of the story of the battle of Thermopylae. Since then, producers have plundered the classical world for stories of heroes, gods and monsters.

Take a look at their slideshow.

The Eagle of the Ninth
In Britain, this time in AD140, but with the Ninth Legion again as a
young soldier attempts to find its lost emblem. Released in September.

Clash of the Titans
Remake of 1981 classic. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes battle gods in a
tale based on the myth of Perseus and the Medusa. March release.

The Resurrection of Christ
Cashing in on the success of Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the
Christ, but with added “Gladiator dimension” and first-century
political intrigue. Starts shooting in July.

Ben Hur
Ray Winstone stars as the Roman general Quintus Arrius and Joseph
Morgan plays the chariot-racing champ Judah Ben Hur in a television
remake of the 1959 classic story set in the early days of
Christianity. To be screened later this year.

The Argonauts
Jason is off to find the Golden Fleece once again in this remake of
the 1963 classic, left, – noted for its special effects by Ray
Harryhausen – scheduled for release next year, exactly a century after
the first Argonauts film.

Cleo
Ray Winstone (again) in Steven Soderbergh’s 1920s musical version of
Antony and Cleopatra’s story. Elizabeth Taylor starred in the 1963
original.

Hercules: The Thracian Wars
The son of Zeus is to be given the 300 treatment in this film based on
the bloodthirsty US comic book in which Hercules loses his family and
finds solace in battle. The film is being developed by Universal
Pictures to be released next year.

Coriolanus
The film of Shakespeare’s play about a banished hero avenging himself
on Rome will be directed by Ralph Fiennes and is about to start
shooting.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Greek gods make mischief in modern-day New York as they race to find
Zeus’s missing bolt of lightning. In cinemas now.

Dawn of War

This time it’s the story of Theseus which will be given the full
cinematographic visual trickery, as the hero of Athens takes on the
Minotaur – half-bull, half-man – among other monsters. Starts shooting
next month.

Centurion
Dominic West and Michael Fassbender star as Roman soldiers on the
march with the legendary Ninth Legion in Britain in AD117. Released in
April.

 

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