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The movie Troy was director Wolfgang Peterson’s okay effort at adapting one of the oldest works in Western literature, Homer’s The Iliad, which tells the story of the 10-year Trojan War. Homer’s sequel, The Odyssey, takes place 10 years later and tells of the 10-year trek Odysseus battled through to get back home to Ithica. And so it will probably be 10 years after Peterson’s relatively disappointing film that Odysseus will once again take over movie screens.
Warner Bros. has hired James DiLapo to script an updated version of The Odyssey, backed by Terry Dougas and Paris Kasidokostas Latsis of 1821 Pictures, along with David Heyman and Jeff Clifford of Heyday Films. DiLapo, a recent graduate of NYU, already has a healthy buzz following him after winning last year’s Nicholl Fellowship for his 2012 Black List script Devils at Play, a thriller set in the Soviet Union in 1937.
If you’re imagining a world of weather-beaten boats and chiseled strongmen with god names fighting it out over land and water, then your vision is worse than Homer’s. This version of Odysseus’ trials and tribulations will somehow be shuttled into outer space, based on a simple idea from Dougas, with a full story pitch from DiLapo. It’s too bad Tarsem Singh already directed the Greek god epic Immortals, because his unique vision would have been intriguing in an interplanetary setting. But it’ll probably attract some other less-artistic director whose films attain weak domestic grosses. I can’t stress enough how much I hope the film’s scope is reined in, and that this isn’t just a simple connect-the-dots story between war-torn alien planets. Now if the Cyclops, say, wore a black mask and cloak…and had a breathing problem…