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20 Years After Alexander and Troy, Who is the NEXT Greek Hero to Capture the World?

20 years ago, Hollywood released two massive Greek stories into theaters. With Alexander and Troy almost reaching the legal drinking age in the United States, the time is right to try again and give viewers the next BIG Greek hero! With so many Greek gods that can come out of books and be portrayed on the big screen, it has been twenty years since a new big Greek hero has come forward.

Where Alexander was viewed as a commercial flop in 2004 by only grossing $167 million while the production budget was $155 million. It also pulled down an insane amount of Razzies, the second-most in history (behind Catwoman, which might never be dethroned) Troy was the complete opposite, with 23 nominations and 5 victories for “Top Box Office Films” from ASCAP Film and Television Music, “Best Supporting Actor in Film” from Irish Film and Television, as well as additional awards being won by the cast from the Teen Choice Awards and NRJ Cine.  The movie itself grossed over $497 million, over twice as much as Alexander.

This great performance shows that there was a lot of interest in the early 2000’s in stories of Greek Mythology as there were several movies that were released, including: Jason and the Argonauts (2000), Helen of Troy (2003), 300 (2006), and not to mention that O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000), was inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey (IMDB lists Homer as a writer for the movie), which also had a movie called The Odyssey come out in 1997.

Alexander – Warner Bros. Pictures

There is still a market for Greek hero movies in today’s landscape. Children around the world study Greek mythology in school and learn about the heroes and gods, the epic battles and tragedies as well as the life lessons that can be learned. With schools teaching Greek mythology to students, it means more and more kids are growing up with ancient epic stories and can be the Greek hero fan of tomorrow by watching what they are reading about today. The rebirth of this franchise could do very well given today’s technology and the audience’s thirst for heroes and legends. 

Troy cover art – Warner Bros. Pictures

The franchise would start with movies about the upbringings of several Greek heroes, much like an “origins” series. During their movies the audience will see how the heroes come of age and grow and eventually how their stories intertwine with each others which could leave to alliances, betrayals and eventually, the Battle of Troy.

Heroes like Achilles can create an epic war movie. A story going into detail about how he became such an amazing warrior while protecting his “Achilles heel” would add more to the lore of Achilles and hype him up. 

The story of the birth of Achilles and how his mother dipped him in the River Styx to make him invulnerable except for the one weakness of the spot on his body where she held him would be exciting to see on the screen as this is what allows him to go on to the stories that took place after. As Achilles is part human, he would continue to age and would eventually die one day due to being part human, but his body would be strong enough to withstand any attacks outside of his ankle.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? 2000 – Touchtone Pictures and Universal Pictures. Movie inspired by Homer who IMDB lists as a writer.

We can see time pass by and Achilles grow stronger and defeat enemies as he ages and the lore of Achilles begins to grow across the land. Defeating monsters and saving the lives of people would cement his legacy as one of the greatest heroes. His story would conclude at the Battle of Troy once Odysseus is able to recruit him to fulfill the prophecy that they would not be able to take Troy without Achilles but this battle ultimately leads to his downfall when he is killed by an arrow fired by Paris and guided by Apollo that struck his vulnerable ankle and led to his death.

Speaking of Apollo. Not the boxer, but the god of what seems like EVERYTHING in Greek mythology. He is the god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the sun and light, poetry, and more, because why not? As if that wasn’t enough, he is also the son of Zeus and Leto and the twin brother to Artemis. You tell me that Apollo doesn’t have great stories to tell that would entertain movie goers, he is practically the god of entertainment! Not to mention the story of Apollo and the Python, a son of Gaia, would be a great start to how powerful Apollo would become.

The stories of Achilles and Apollo are so intertwined that they could tell a story like Star Wars or Eragon. The killing of other gods children,

The movie would tell the story of  Apollo’s life, living under Zeus and being responsible so much and assisting in the deFEET (pun intended) of Achilles by guiding the arrow from Paris to Achilles heel at Troy.

We can view stories of Apollo being born from Leto after Zeus cheated on his wife Hera and how Hera cursed Leto while she was pregnant with Apollo and Artemis. Now that is a banger of a birth story. How to protect Apollo, Leto gave him nectar which caused him to fully grow in one day, just in time to take on the challenge sent forth by Hero when she sent the dragon known as Python after him.

Homer’s Odyssey film art from 1911 Milano Films

Then there is Hector, Achilles arch enemy after killing Achilles best friend Patroclus and became the commander-in-chief of the Trojan forces. His story may end in defeat at the hands of Achilles but it would help the growth of Achilles story. This can even be a back story put into Achilles movie.

What about a Michael Bay directed movie about when these heroes and more meet up at the Battle of Troy and wage war. The action, the adventure, the explosions that would somehow happen even without fuel for fire, oh hey, look a rock! Well, that rock just exploded in a fireball of flame and gore that took out several mortals walking by, why? Michael Bay, that’s why!

It has been twenty years since 2004 when Alexander and Troy were released, even longer since Gladiator (I know, it’s Roman) made it big, though there is a Gladiator 2 scheduled to be released later in 2024. The time is right to bring mythology back to the plate and give it another chance. Not every movie will perform well at the box office like Troy did, or as bad at the box office as Alexander, but that was 20 years ago and the day is ripe to bring mythology back.

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