The dusty old tome Homer's The Odyssey just got fuel-injected with some much-needed excitement. It sounds as though Hugh Jackman is taking this trip to ancient Greece. The star is currently in talks to headline the Lionsgate fantasy adventure based on the ancient poem. It was announced in April that Lionsgate plans to turn the title into a huge action-adventure tentpole.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 director Francis Lawrence is behind the helm. And he's bringing producer Nina Jacobson along for the ride. In May, CEO Jon Feltheimer revealed that Francis Lawrence's deal is for more than one movie. Though how many installments are planned isn't yet known.
Francis Lawrence also directed the second installment of the The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, after original director Gary Ross backed out. Nina Jacobson has been onboard for all four of The Hunger Games movies, producing them through her Color Force production banner. The Odyssey will be written by Peter Craig, who co-wrote The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.
The Odyssey is believed to have been composed by Homer in the 8th century B.C. It centers on Odysseus and his journey home after the fall of Troy while his wife Penelope fights off suitors. It is, in part, a sequel to his other famous poem, The Illiad. Odysseus' trip takes 10 long years, as his wife Penelope and their son Telemachus fight to survive back home. The poem has been adapted numerous times for both film and television, although many times they have not been direct adaptations. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Tim Burton's Big Fish were loosely inspired by The Odyssey, and Kirk Douglas starred in the 1954 adaptation Ulysses.
Lionsgate has not set a release date for The Odyssey. Hugh Jackman has quite a line-up of films planned for the future. He will next be seen in this October's Pan, which tells the origins of Peter Pan. He will then co-star opposite Taron Egerton in the Olympic underdog story Eddie the Eagle. He is rumored to have a cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse, and will play the role of indestructible mutant Logan for the last time in 2017's Wolverine 3. He is also playing P.T. Barnum in the biopic The Greatest Showman on Earth. It isn't clear at what point he will shoot The Odyssey.