Lionsgate, fresh off of its The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 endeavors, has announced that not only is the studio taking on the Greek Epic The Odyssey…but it intends to hire the Hunger Games creative team to steer the upcoming project.
According to a Deadline exclusive, Francis Lawrence (director of the last 3 Hunger Games movies), Peter Craig (co-writer of the Mockingjay installments), and producer Nina Jacobson (a driving force behind the franchise since the original film in 2012) have all agreed to collaborate on The Odyssey, with Lionsgate leaping into action upon securing the trio. Production on the epic is reported to begin almost immediately after the November 2015 release of Mockingjay Part 2 - the grand finale of the Hunger Games series.
Lawrence, who has also directed high-profile movies like Water For Elephants (2011), I Am Legend (2007), and Constantine (2005), is no stranger to adaptations; Constantine originated from a comic book, and both Water For Elephants and I Am Legend came from bestselling novels. The director, however, has yet to tackle such a massive historical piece as The Odyssey, and his interpretation may vary from the original source material.
Modern adaptations of Greek mythology have ranged from fantastical adventures like Clash of the Titans (1981) to epic dramas like Troy (2004), to CGI-laden action flicks like the updated Clash of the Titans franchise. These classic mythologies even have a foothold in the “young adult” genre, as seen in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians (a YA franchise also inspired by bestselling novels, much like The Hunger Games) movie series. With his new project barely in its pre-production stages, Lawrence’s creative leanings remain uncertain.
In its original text, Homer’s The Odyssey weaves the legend of Odysseus as he encounters supernatural obstacles on his voyage home from the Trojan War. Presumed dead, his loyal wife Penelope and son Telemachus must tolerate rowdy and unwelcome suitors while steadfastly awaiting Odysseus’s return.
Ironically Warner Bros. announced last year its plans to recreate Homer’s epic poem, generating direct competition for Lionsgate. Russian filmmaker Fendor Bondarchuk (9th Company) is helming the Warner Bros. version, entitled Odysseus.
Stay tuned to mxdwn for more breaking news on The Odyssey.