Hugh Jackman in Early Talks to Star in ‘The Odyssey’ for Francis Lawrence

     August 20, 2015


After today’s news of Warner Bros. hoping to get a movie franchise out of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, Dante’s Inferno, another epic poem project has followed suit. This time, Lionsgate is looking to Hugh Jackman as the lead in their adaptation of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, which will be directed by Francis Lawrence. The Hunger Games director will reteam with his screenwriter Peter Craig, who adapted the epic. Nina Jacobson will produce.

As The Wrap reports, Jackman is in talks to star in The Odyssey, despite Homer’s poem being titled simply ‘Odyssey.’ No deal is in place yet, but the respective teams are talking about Jackman playing (The) Odysseus, the Greek hero (also known as Ulysses to Ancient Romans) who makes the long voyage home to Ithaca after the fall of Troy. This 10-year journey sees Odysseus’ ship blown off course, which leads him and his men into a variety of adventures. Since this is a big-budget adaptation, we can fully expect to see interactions with the carnivorous cyclops Polyphemus, the prophet Tiresias in Hades, a variety of gods and demigods, and the naturally disastrous Scylla and Charybdis. Keep in mind that while Odysseus is out adventuring, his wife Penelope is attempting to hold over 100 suitors at bay back home in Ithaca.

hugh-jackman-odysseyThis epic poem deserves its modifier since it’s a truly huge tale. I can’t image that Lionsgate and Lawrence want to try to cram the entire story into one tale but rather a sort of classic, ancient trilogy of films. Heck, there’s even a built-in prequel trilogy if Lionsgate also wants to tackle Homer’s “Iliad” which covers the Trojan War and the siege of Troy. If this adaptation is successful, perhaps a take on John Milton’s Paradise Lost or Luís Vaz de Camões’ The Lusiads will finally get off the ground.

As for Jackman, he next appears in Joe Wright’s pirate epic Pan on October 9th, and will return for one more Wolverine film that’s due on March 3, 2017.

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