November 18, 2003
I love the Classics.
And when I say "Classics", I don't mean Bach & Beethoven. I mean the history & literature of ancient Greece & Rome. And one of the many reasons why is because I love how pervasive a good story can become in a culture, especially if it's old enough.
Consider this: an "odyssey"; your Achilles tendon; a "Cassandra syndrome"; "the face that launched a thousand ships"; "Ajax"; and of course, the obvious one, a "Trojan horse".
All of these memes where first seeded in the gardens of our collective imaginations by one single story - The Iliad, Homer's epic poem where Helen, the insanely hot queen to the Spartan sovereign, Menelaus, runs off with Paris, the prince of the fortified city-state of Troy in Asia Minor (now, I believe today's Turkey). In turn, and in what must be the biggest case of ignoring that whole "don't hate the playa, hate the game" mentality in the history of mankind, Menelaus gets ALL the other Greek city states to join him in a mass invasion of Troy (see the previously mentioned thousand ships) as payback.
Anyway, Warner Bros., in their quest to re-establish themselves as a company that does more than make bad action movies with DMX and Steven Seagal, are giving this story the full-on, post-Gladiator, Hollywood treatment next summer. And I must say, I'm REALLY digging the casting:
* Brad Pitt as obnoxious Greek super-soldier Achilles (and we ALL know how his story ends)
* Orlando Bloom as Trojan pretty-boy Paris
* Brendan Gleeson (who's been in everything from 28 Days Later to Gangs of New York, lately) as player-hatin' Menelaus
* Sean Bean as sneaky Trojan horse architect Odysseus
* Eric Bana as the Trojan champion Hector (poor bastard)
* and Brian Cox as power-hungry Greek "boss of bosses", so to speak, Agamemnon
Between this, Spider-Man 2 and the return or director Roland Emmerich to his "Independence Day"-style stomping grounds in The Day After Tomorrow, next summer's movie slate is sounding extra saucy.