It was only a matter of time. We saw Achilles and Alexander the Great, not to mention numerous iterations of the 300 Spartans and other Greek gods, myths and mortals. Now it’s Odysseus’ turn.
Russian filmmaker Fedor Bondarchuk will direct “Odysseus,” a big-budget movie based on Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey,” for Warner Brothers.
The poem centers on the Greek hero Odysseus, who has been held captive for 10 years following his return from the Trojan War and another 10 year journey home to Ithaka. Meanwhile, his wife, Penelope, fights off suitors at home, each wanting her hand in marriage and Odysseus’ kingdom.
Jeremy Doner is writing the script, Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari is producing with Bernie Goldmann and Shannon Gaulding, alongside Bondarchuk’s partners Michael Schlicht and Paul Heth.
Bondarchuk has had a series of blockbuster hits in his native Russia, including “The 9th Company” in 2005 and “The Inhabited Island” in 2008.
His most recent success was a World War II 3D action film called “Stalingrad,” which was produced on a $30 million budget.
“Stalingrad” was a touching WWII film about Russian soldiers who hold off the Nazis and adopt a young woman and keep her safe during an increasingly hostile campaign. Even though there was a high number of action sequences involving tanks and warfare, all of it was accomplished without green screen. Bondarchuk insisted on staging his own siege scenes. This could be an indication of how he will shoot “Odysseus.”
The Imax film, which was released worldwide by Sony, was Russia’s official selection for foreign-language film at last year’s Academy Awards, and became the highest-grossing film ever in Russia, with $55 million. It took a further $11 million in China.
Russia and China are key factors in Warner Brothers’ decision as American studios are attempting to gain access into these markets more and more.
No word on cast or other details.