Day By Day

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hercules Returns

And in more movie news Peter Berg, director of "Hancock", will be directing a remake of Hercules.

Berg will produce and will develop to direct "Hercules: The Thracian Wars," a co-production of Spyglass Entertainment, Berg’s Film 44 and Radical Pictures. Spyglass and Universal will co-finance the film.

Ryan Condal will write the script, based on a five-issue comicbook series by Steve Moore that debuted in May through Radical Publishing.

Read about it here.

Hercules, or Heracles as the Greeks called him, was the greatest hero of the classical world -- the only one elevated to the status of Olympian deity. But to modern eyes he was anything but heroic. As a youth Heracles was tutored in music by Linus, but when his mentor criticized his playing young Herc bashed his head in with a lyre. Anger management problems, perhaps?

After this he was sent off to the countryside to be a shepherd, probably to keep him away from other potential victims of his anger.

Then Heracles led a gang of youths in a slaughter of the Minyans. This pleased the King of Thebes so much that Heracles was accepted into the royal family and married to his daughter. The relationship, however, didn't work out. Heracles went mad and killed his wife and their children. This led to his exile and a commitment to undertake the famous labors, many of which involved killing something or somebody.

During the course of these labors, Herc again lost his temper and killed the King of Oechalia and all his sons except one whom he took as a lover and companion. That relationship didn't work out either. In a later fit of madness Herc killed his boyfriend. In penance for this murder Herc lived for three years as a female slave of the queen of Lydia.

Then, in another fit of anger, Herc killed the entire royal family of Troy, sparing only Priam who was an infant at the time.

And he also killed Alastor of Pylos and all his brothers.

And he killed the royal family of Sparta.

And he killed the king of Aulis and his daughter.

Do you see a pattern here?

And so it went..., and so it went.

Heracles' last living act was to throw his loyal servant, Lichas, off a cliff, killing him. At least the guy was consistent.

And this was the greatest hero of the classical world! The ancient Greeks were not like us.

My question is -- should we consider Heracles to be a serial killer or a spree killer, or perhaps a serial spree killer?

And I wonder if any of this will get into Berg's film.