Preview by: Jack Foley
THE overwhelming Box Office success of Ridley Scott's Gladiator,
coupled with its success at the Oscars, was always going to pave
the way for an epic revival and, so it is that the next couple
of years could well be the year of the sprawling historical epic.
We are already promised two versions of Alexander
The Great, from directors Oliver Stone and Baz Luhrmann, and
starring Colin Farrell and Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Leonardo Di
Caprio and Nicole Kidman respectively, but another of the keenly
anticipated blockbusters is Troy, Wolfgang Petersen's star-studded
take on The Iliad, the Greek poet Homer's account of the
The film stars Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana, among
others, and will focus on the battles surrounding the Greeks'
plan to , as well as elements from The Iliad's sequel,
It already looks like being one of the biggest hits of next year,
particularly given the fact it has been pencilled in for a lucrative
May 2004 opening slot in America.
For those who don't know, the legend of Troy was formed after
Paris of Troy (Bloom), kidnaps the gorgeous Helen (Diane Kruger),
from her husband, the king of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson).
His Highness subsequently sends his brother and the Greek army
to retrieve his wife, including Achilles (Pitt), prompting over
a decade of war and that sneaky strategy involving a certain wooden
Production on the film has been vast, with shoots having already
taken place in London, Malta and Mexico, but, despite the sad
death of a Maltese extra, the shoot appears to have been trouble
free, with advance word still pretty hot from the production.
It has also been reported that the $180 million film has one
of the biggest sets ever built.
The screenplay has been penned by the ultra-hot David Benioff,
who told the BBC in a recent interview that 'Troy' is an adaptation
of the Trojan War myth in its entirety, not The Iliad alone.
"This is a massive story that we're trying to tell in two-and-a-half
hours. The narrative is crammed with some of literature's most
intriguing characters: Achilles, Hector, Helen, Paris, Priam,
Odysseus, Agamemnon, Patroclus, etc.
"All these characters have to emerge on screen as fully
realized human beings. The battle scenes have to mirror the epic
confrontations Homer described.
"The journey of the thousand ships from Greece to Troy has
to be depicted. Everything takes times, and we're not making a
twelve-hour miniseries. We're not making a trilogy of three-hour