A flurry of Greek-themed films rushed into development after 300. In the whirl of swords and togas that are swirling around Clash of the Titans and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, you may have forgotten that Relativity Media had another version of the Greek Gods in development: War of the Gods, which now seems to be retitled Dawn of War as per IMDB and Moviefone. Set to be directed by Tarsem Singh, War / Dawn centers on the young warrior Theseus, who leads his men into battle with the Greek gods (not against!) in order to defeat the powerful Titans (the gods who came before Zeus & Company) and save mankind.
War of the Gods / Dawn of War boasts Singh, the producers of 300, and the stunning Henry Cavill as Theseus. But he's sat alone and waiting for costars until today, as Variety announced that Frieda Pinto will play Phaedra, an oracle priestess who accompanies Theseus to the front to lend her mystic powers. I imagine her access to the gods won't dissuade her from looking a little favorably on Theseus, though. You don't cast an actress as lovely as Pinto and not let Theseus dream of sharing some watered down wine with her, do you?
But a bigger question might be whether or not anyone will buy a ticket to find out. War of the Gods got underway the same time as Clash, but has been delayed for unknown reasons. While it probably benefits both films to come out months (perhaps even a year) away from one another, War may now be crippled by whatever happens to Clash. Add in that you could suddenly see movement on Warner Bros' Odysseus, Anabasis or that much-discussed and long rumored 300 prequel / sequel, Xerxes, and you have the potential for an overdose of the classics.
We've certainly seen Hollywood enamored with sword-and-sandal films before, but we're a long way from the 1950s and 1960s when such things didn't exhaust audiences two weeks after they opened. Attention spans are a lot shorter, and I think that has as much to do with our wacky lifestyles as the glut of marketing we receive. By the time something like Clash of the Titans opens, it's a relief in part because we'll see new trailers and tv spots!
Now, my gut says we'll probably never see Xerxes (the comic world still awaits Frank Miller's Batman vs Osama Bin Ladin book), and I suspect Anabasis might be a tough sell to any studio -- especially if Clash and War completely cancel each other out, and with it Hollywood's love of ancient Greece. I can see it now. Audiences are tired of togas! What else have we got? Vikings? Yeah, make it happen!
You know that I'm a history and literary nerd. I can spend days in exhibits just reading the placardes and photographing helmets and friezes, and even my patience feels tested at all these pre-productions. But hey, you're moviegoers too. What do you think? Are you bored of the Greeks already? Will you be able to take mankind clashing with Gods and Titans, Krakens and Cyclops, all to the glint of some well-lit bronze, over and over again?