Newsbites: The Greco-Roman edition!
1. Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland) will start shooting The Eagle of the Ninth in August; the film concerns “a wounded Roman soldier and his loyal Celtic slave who try to solve the mystery of the Ninth Legion, a brigade of Roman soldiers that vanished after heading into the untamed Highlands of Scotland 15 years earlier.” — Variety
2. Coincidentally, Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday) is already making his own movie about the Ninth Legion; it is called Centurion, and it is far enough into production that the filmmakers recently released a making-of video and a photo of former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko made up to look like “a savage-looking Pict warrior woman”. — Empire, Rotten Tomatoes
3. Bond girl Gemma Arterton has been cast as the demi-goddess Io in the upcoming remake of Clash of the Titans (1981). Meanwhile, Cinesite has been hired to provide some of the “major creature animation” — using computers, of course, rather than the stop-motion techniques that living legend Ray Harryhausen used on the original film. — Empire, VFXWorld
4. Sean Bean will play Zeus, Kevin McKidd will play Poseidon, Pierce Brosnan will play Chiron, Uma Thurman will play Medusa and Melina Kanakerides will play Athena in Percy Jackson, an adaptation of the best-selling children’s novel The Lightning Thief, which is set in the present day and concerns the half-human children of the gods. — Variety, Hollywood Reporter (x2)
5. The Gotham Group is developing a film based on Steven Sherrill’s novel The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, which concerns “the mythical half-man, half-bull minotaur who was supposedly slain by Theseus 3,000 years ago and now lives a lonely life in a Wichita trailer park, making ends meet as a short-order cook in a rundown diner.” — Variety
State Of Play director Kevin Macdonald is going back to Roman times for his next film, signing up to direct The Eagle Of The Ninth.
The film finds a wounded Roman soldier and his loyal Celtic slave (Jamie Bell, below) who attempt to solve the mystery of the Ninth Legion.
Who are they? They would be a brigade of Roman soldiers who set off for the wild Scottish Highland hills 15 years before… And were never seen again.
Channing Tatum has been offered the role of the injured Roman, but he hasn’t yet decided if his accent’s up to the job. Sorry, that he’ll take the part.
If he signs, he’ll be off to shooting Hungary (doubling for Roman-occupied England) in August. Scotland, meanwhile, will be played by Scotland.
Seems England’s a little too built up to really serve Roman times.
And what is it with Romans, suddenly? Neil Marshall’s in production on Centurion and now this?
Archaeologists in Gloucester have unearthed evidence that recycling is not just a twenty-first century idea. An archaeological investigation in the centre of the city has discovered that medieval settlers used parts of a Roman wall to construct buildings.
Gloucestershire County Council’s archaeology team is exploring the area where Kimbrose Triangle meets Southgate Street before work begins in the summer to connect the Quays to the city centre. But they were frustrated in their search for the line of the old Roman wall.
Gloucestershire County Council project officer Paul Nichols said: “We found Roman deposits about one metre below the pavement level. The earliest deposits were soil layers containing shards of Roman pottery and fragments of wall plaster. Above that was a mortar floor surface, which we believe was the internal floor of a Roman building.
“We didn’t find any evidence for the Roman wall, suggesting that we were just inside the line, but it’s also possible that parts of it may have been recycled and used to build later buildings. It was certainly a worthwhile exercise and we will be providing a full report that will be of benefit to city planners.”
The nearest remains of the wall are inside Gloucestershire Furniture Exhibition Centre on the corner of Southgate Street and Parliament Street, and Blackfriars. Henry Hurst uncovered the wall at Bearland in 1969. It runs under Berkeley Street, to the nearest corner of the Cathedral, to St Aldate Street, through King’s Walk, Brunswick Road, and Parliament Street.
“They could have been just inside the city wall, if the wall is there,” said Gloucester Civic Trust’s Nigel Spry. “It may be that it’s been taken away during later periods to use in other buildings.”
ATHENS, Greece – A Greek fisherman must have been expecting a monster of a catch when he brought up his nets in the Aegean Sea last week. Instead, Greek authorities say his haul was a section of a 2,200-year-old bronze statue of a horseman.
A Culture Ministry announcement said Monday the accidental find was made in waters between the eastern islands of Kos and Kalymnos. The fisherman handed over the corroded metal figure to authorities, who have started the cleaning process.
Dating to the late 2nd century B.C., the statue represented a male rider wearing ornate breast armor over a short tunic and armed with a sheathed sword. The trunk of the horseman and his raised right arm have survived.
Thanks to Rogue Classicism/Explorator, a whole list of modern Lysistrata parallels.
Rogue Classicism has details of an interesting0looking conference in July, and on our own doorstep.
*Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar 2009: “Utopia and Dystopia in Roman Literature”
University College London, 7–9 July 2009 (Archaeology Lecture Theatre)*
It is a great pleasure to announce that the annual Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar 2009 will be coming to London this year.
It will discuss the topic of “Utopia and Dystopia in Roman Literature” and will be held at University College London, 7–9 July 2009 (Archaeology Lecture Theatre).