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6 Greek Myths That Should Be Movies

Bellerophon

The Man: The greatest hero and slayer of monsters before that Heracles fellow turned up.

Much of Greek Mythology plays out like an episode of Jeremy Kyle, and it turns out that Bellerophon is actually the son of Poseidon. Still, better than the unemployed dentist-fearing lothario from the local council estate.

The Myth: Falsely accused of attempting to ravish the wife of King Proteus, Bellerophon is sent on a quest to kill the Chimera, a fire-breathing monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and tail of a serpent.

Bellerophon consults a seer, who tells him he’ll need the winged horse Pegasus if he is to defeat the beast. With Athena's help he tames the steed, and sets out to defeat the Chimera.

Unable to get close to the beast and its fiery breath, Bellerophon mounts a block of lead on the end of his spear. Without coming too close, he launches the spear before turning safely away from the flames.

The spear lodges in the Chimera’s throat, the hot air melting the lead, which blocks its airway. The beast collapses and dies, and Bellerophon is victorious.

No-one will believe his story however, so Bellerophon goes on some more quests, before deciding he has a right to sit in Olympus, he sets off on the back of Pegasus, but is knocked off the horse by an angry Zeus.

Bellerophon falls to Earth and lives out the rest of his days in misery as a blinded cripple, grieving and shunning human contact.

Why It Would Be A Kick-Ass Film: It’s got a great five act structure, plenty of set-pieces and there is a flying horse. That should secure the green light alone.

Who Should Direct? Chris Weitz, who did a solid job with The Golden Compass , and looks like he’s doing similarly good work of Twilight sequel, New Moon .

Who Should Star? Robert Pattinson.

He’s the obvious choice. Imagine him, labouring to defeat the Chimera, robed and sandaled and tall of hair, riding on the back of the mythical winged horse…

Updated Moral: Put Robert Pattinson in your film and you will sell many, many tickets.

Theseus and the Minotaur

The Man: Younger cousin of Hercules (or Heracles depending on whether you’re anal about these things… the Greeks certainly were – Zing!)

He’s another son of Poseidon, who is perhaps one of the more promiscuous of the Gods.

The Myth: Every seven years, the seven most courageous youths and the seven most beautiful maidens of Athens were to board a boat and sent as tribute to Crete, to be imprisoned in the labyrinth and devoured by the Minotaur.

Theseus, a skilled warrior, decides to slay the monster, and rid the town of its curse.

Theseus was stripped of his weapons and took the place of one of the youths. He set off with a black sail, promising his father that if he were successful, he would return with a white sail as a mark of his victory.

On his arrival in Crete, King Minos’ daughter, Ariadne, who was in love with Theseus, gave him a ball of string, which he could use to find his way out. Ariadne told Theseus to go forwards, always down, never right or left.

Theseus promised to take Ariadne with him, should he return successful. Taking a sword he had hidden from the guards in his Tunic, Theseus entered the maze and fought the minotaur, slaying it.

On the return journey, the God Dionysius visited Theseus and told him he had already chosen Ariadne as his bride and instructed the young mortal to drop her off on the island of Nexus on the way home.

Consumed with heartache, Theseus forgot to change the sails, and seeing the black sail on the horizon, King Aegeus, believing his only son to be dead, commited suicide by jumping from the cliffs where he awaited the ship’s return.

Why It Would Be A Kick-Ass Film: This has all the elements of a classic tragedy, a hero, a love interest, a legendary beast, and a heartbreaking ending.

Who Should Direct? Guillermo Del Toro - this has plenty of darkness for the Mexican helmer to explore.

Who Should Star? Bradley Cooper.

A rising star currently proving he’s got star potential in The Hangover , who also demonstrated an abiltiy for darker stuff in Midnight Meat Train .

Updated Moral: Women cause trouble.

Icarus

The Man: Son of Daedalus, architect of the labyrinth.

The Myth: A spin-off from Theseus, this film follows the architect Daedalus and his young son Icarus, after they are imprisoned by King Minos.

Minos discovered that Daedalus had given the ball of string and instructions to Ariadne in order to help Theseus, and was imprisoned inside his own creation, the Labyrinth.

Using his great skill as an inventor, Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings from birds feathers and candle wax, so the pair could fly free from their maze prison.

Warning Icarus that the wings were fragile, and that he should not fly to close to the ocean, lest the feathers become damp and heavy, nor should he fly too close to the sun, lest the wax melt and the wings fall apart.

Strapping on the wings, the pair leapt from the Labyrinth and begin flying, but Icarus, giddy with the sensation, ignores his Father’s warning and soars higher and closer to the sun. His wings melt, and he falls to his death.

Why It Would Be A Kick-Ass Film : A prison escape drama to rival “Prison Break”, a classic father-son relationship and a great fable at it’s core, this could be The Shawshank Redemption: 1000BC

Though the myth may not be as long and complicated as many of the others, the film-makers could start the story much earlier, documenting Daedalus’ brilliance and showing Icarus growing up.

Who Should Direct?: Frank Darabont

Who Should Star?: Emile Hirsch as Icarus, Liam Neeson as Daedalus

Updated Moral: Kids are idiots.

Meleager

The Man: Son of the King and Queen of Calydon. Meleager is a near invulnerable warrior with an achilles heel.

The Myth: At birth, the sisters of fate decide Meleager will be noble, brave, and in a bit of mean turn, that he will die as soon as a wooden brand has burned on the family hearth. His mother immeaditaely snatches the brand from the hearth.

Meleager grows into a respected warrior, and marries Cleopatra, daughter of the hero Idas, though he is also in love with the warrioress Atalanta.

When the Calydonian Boar was ravaging the countryside, Meleager’s father asks him to kill the Boar.

He gathers together a band of heroes, among them Atalanta. Hylaeus and Rhaecus, two centaurs in the hunting party, tried to rape Atalanta. Meleager discovers the attack and kills them.

In pursuit of the boar, Atalanta manages to wound it, and Meleager finishes the kill. He then awards the skin to Atalanta, as she drew first blood.

Meleager’s Uncles, Toxeus and Plexippus are enraged that the prize was given to a woman. Meleager kills them in the following argument. He also kills Iphicles and Eurypylus for insulting Atalanta.

When Meleager's Mother learns of the death of her brothers, she throws the wooden brand back in the fire. Meleager immediately falls to the floor and writhes in agony before dying.

Why It Would Be A Kick-Ass Film: A story of forbidden love, of a great quest to kill a savage beast, and tragic death. The Shakespearean qualities are inherent.

Who Should Direct?: Ang Lee

Who Should Star?: Micael Fassbender as Meleager, Moon Bloodgood as Atalanta.

Updated Moral: Don’t butcher your Uncle.

Pandora

The Woman: The first woman, each of the Gods had a hand in her creation.

The Myth: To punish mankind for receiving knowldege of fire from the Titan Prometheus, Zeus decided to give them something to compensate for the boon they had already recieved.

He orders the creation of the first woman, a "beautiful evil" whose descendents would torment the race of men. The Gods all imparted gifts upon the female, among them a 'deceitful nature', which gives you an idea of the kind of "gifts" we're talking about.

Pandora was also given a jar (not a box) containing all kinds of disease and death, and a myriad of other pains.

Prometheus was wary of Zeus’ plans and warned his brother, Epimetheus, not to accept any gifts from the leader of Olympus. Epimetheus,however, didn’t listen and accepted Pandora.

As soon as Pandora was out in the world, she opens the jar out of idle curiosity (rather than deliberate malice) scattering the contents of the jar across the world, bringing diesase and misery to man.

Sunny tale right?

Why It Would Be A Kick-Ass Film: Actresses are always saying there aren’t enough good roles out there for women, and here’s a chance to play the first woman. Also to explore the inequalities women faced and so on, and so forth.

Done right this could bait Oscar big time, exploring the foundations of male/female relationships, and the way men throughout history have feared the power of women.

Who Should Direct?: Clint Eastwood

Who Should Star?: Angelina Jolie

Updated Moral: If you want an Oscar, talk to Clint.

Eros and Psyche

The Man: He’s the God of Love (aka Cupid), she’s a beautiful mortal who invokes the jealousy of Venus with her youth and looks.

The Myth: Psyche is the youngest of a King’s three daughters, and by far the most beautiful. The Goddess Venus becomes jealous and instructs her son, Eros, to make the girl fall in love with a hideous monster.

Eros agrees, but when he lays eyes upon Psyche, he is so struck by her beauty that he drops his arrow, pricking himself and instantly falling deeply in love with her. He can no longer go through with the plan, and leaves.

Psyche’s parents consult an oracle, who tells them that she is destined to marry a monster. At that moment, the West Wind takes Psyche and carries her away to a palace, where she is waited on by invisible servants.

That night, her new husband visits her, and tells her he will always visit at night, and that she must never try and see him. Although he is kind and gentle to her, and she wants for nothing, Psyche grows homesick.

Persuaded by her sisters to sneak a look, Psyche takes a lamp and a knife into the bedroom, but when she sees her beautiful husband, whom she recognizes as Eros, he wakes. Realising what is going on, Eros disappears.

In desperation, she approaches his mother, Venus. Still angry, she set Psyche tasks, all of which the girl passes.

Eros discovers what is going on and persuades Jupiter to order his mother to stop her persecution of Psyche.

They lovers are then married, and live happily ever after, and we mean ever; Psyche was made a God for her troubles.

Aww, don’t you love it when it all ends well?

Why It Would Be A Kick-Ass Film: The sweeping epic romance to end all sweeping epic romances, it’ll be so romantic that Sleepless in Seattle will look like You’ve Got Mail .

What better way to ensure it’s status as a romantic epic by reuniting the team behind The Notebook ?

Who Should Direct?: Nick Cassavettes

Who Should Star?: Ryan Gosling as Eros and Rachel McAdams as Psyche.

Updated Moral: Romance it what we tell you it is, dammit!