Dear reader, if you haven't heard me talk about Immortals yet, its...well its because my serious Henry Cavill phase seems to have ended with the series finale of The Tudors, but never fear! Now that we have the first 2 trailers from Immortals, I feel completely capable of doing some mini-coverage. Well, some mini-debunking might be the better description if you will (that BA in history has to be good for something, right?).
The movie is directed by Tarsem Singh who filmed the beautiful "The Fall" which took FOREVER to film and even longer to be released. This is why I thought Immortals would never make it to screen. Since Tarsem is directing, we can expect some serious cinematography and some epic scene setting; this man is not know for small productions. Additionally, the producers of 300 are involved and that explains the heavy chromatic saturation in all the trailers and images (and the half naked men through out the 2 minutes of footage).
Immortals is the story of Theseus and his rise to Greek-hero status (Que Disney's "I can go the Distance" now). While this story of Theseus is not going to match the mythology, it is hoping to captalize on the popularity of Greek-hero storytelling and the success (relatively) of Clash of the Titans a few years ago (It also doesn't hurt that Cavill's been cast as the next Superman. I think quiet a few comic book fans are going to come out to see this leading-man test run). Its about as accurate as Wikipedia, but I'm just going to copy the IMDB summary for your reading pleasure:
Eons after the Gods won their mythic struggle against the Titans, a new evil threatens the land. Mad with power, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity. Amassing a bloodthirsty army of soldiers disfigured by his own hand, Hyperion has scorched Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens by Ares. Only he who possesses this bow can unleash the Titans, who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge. In the king's hands, the bow would rain destruction upon mankind and annihilate the Gods. But ancient law dictates the Gods must not intervene in man's conflict. They remain powerless to stop Hyperion...until a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) comes forth as their only hope. Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must save his people from Hyperion and his hordes. Rallying a band of fellow outsiders-including visionary priestess Phaedra (Freida Pinto) and cunning slave Stavros (Stephen Dorff)-one hero will lead the uprising, or watch his homeland fall into ruin and his Gods vanish into legend.I'm just going to say it reader, don't judge. At first glance, HOW IS THIS MOVIE CONNECTED WITH THESEUS? The summary gives no indication we're going to see any of the Theseus mythology. And while the cast list gives me more hope, I'm not sold on our storyline just yet. I'm not saying this is a bad thing...but I'm confused. And a confused Heather just leads to ranty and sarcastic Heather. And the trailers don't help. I get not knowing a lot about the plot; I get you don't want to give too much away, but I just wish we knew a little bit more about the actual storyline and why Theseus' original mythology wasn't enough for a movie of its own. King Hyperion is a made-up villian and Theseus' quest to defeat him is even more fiction than his originial mythology. That being said, we will see a few names we recongize: someone named Lysander, and Icarus and Hercules are billed to make an apperance. Because really, we lack better knowledge about the movie, I'm going to do a quick summary of the historical/literary Theseus just for fun...and with Henry pictures, don't worry.
Depending on the version you read, Theseus is either the son of Poseidon or the son of King Aegeus. The mythology of him as Aegeus' son is better documented and more universally accepted, so we're going to run with that parentage. His mother is the Princess Aethra of Troezen (hence the whole "common peasant" thing going on in the film is um...not true). When Theseus becomes of age, his mother (who has not seen Aegeus since after they conceived Theseus) takes him to a large rock and tells him he can discover who he really is if he can move it. He does, and finds a sword and sandals hidden there (which are his father's). Aethra tells him to go to the court of Athens where is father is king. Along the way Theseus fights many monsters and becomes a "hero".
Once in his father's court (I'm sure after a few years) he hears of the Minotaur eating captured Athenians on Crete and goes to kill the monster. He does, which we know, and he also begins making his womanizer reputation, which we know better. Eventually he becomes the king of Athens (a la A Midsummer Night's Dream) and rules wisely and justly through his kingdom, even though he still has serious women troubles.
Names that will confuse you during the movie
As with most big-budget movies based on Greek mythology, names and plot points are thrown around at whim. This can make any casual Greek mythology enthusiast confused. Below we'll discuss.
King Hyperion - is not real. Hyperion is the name of the first sun god who was also a Titan. I'm assuming the connection won't be touched upon. Although I would think the whole plot might make lots more sense if it was about one titan trying to free the others...just sayin'...
Phaedra - is actually the name of Theseus' second wife who was desperately in love, and sleeps, with Theseus' son (Hippolyus) by his first wife (Amazon queen!). She kills herself when a servant threatens to tell Theseus of her betrayal.
Zeus and the gods - are like they always are. Though a little less awesomely attired. Interesting fact: Zeus in The Immortals played Apollo in Clash of the Titans.
The magic bow - NOT Theseus' weapon of choice, but its pretty and glows and makes that really pretty ping sound when he uses it with magic arrows.
Lysander - I'M JUDGING. Shakespeare girl here is judging you screenwriters.
Hercules - Throughout the Theseus mythology Hercules is a strong figure. Theseus hopes to become a second Hercules and the demi-god himself saves Theseus from the Underworld and also takes him on his labor to the Amazons. I can't wait to see how he's worked in to the film.