The Odyssey to hit the silver screen in a spaceship

Posted by CB Droege

A loose adaptation of the classic epic is en route from afar.

The Odyssey is the second oldest surviving written work in the Western tradition - the oldest being it’s precursor the Iliad - and is perhaps the most adapted story in literary history. It’s the foundation of the western narrative, and is itself still read - mostly in translation - all over the world.

The story centers on the journey of Odysseus from Troy, where he participated in the Trojan War - chronicled in the Iliad - home to Ithaca, where his wife is knee deep in jerks trying to move in on Odysseus’s holdings, since they think he must be dead. The journey is just a hop along the coast of the Mediterranean, but some ill-chosen shortcuts - and the will of the gods - cause him and his crew to have to fight their way through a giant, a witch, some sirens, and a handful of other classical era monsters in a journey that ends up taking ten years to complete. The story is told in media res which was popular at the time, and concludes with a rousing victory for Odysseus, though not his crew.

The new film from Warner Bros. will loosely adapt The Odyssey as a science fiction tale. That’s all the information that’s been released so far.

Of course, it’s not the first time this has been done. The idea of a lost spaceship having to stop at various planets and face challenges and/or monsters while attempting to find a way home (or a new home) has been done over and over from Lost in Space to Star Trek: Voyager, but this one will apparently see a less allegorical broaching of the story. Though it’s unlikely that they’ll present it in media res, I hope they do, because that would help it stand apart as a more direct adaptation of the source material, if anything can. I suppose calling it The Odyssey, and naming the protagonist Odysseus would help, but neither of those things are announced to be true as yet.

What we do know is that the film is still in the very early stages of development. James DiLapo has been hired to write the first draft of a screenplay. As far as I can tell, Dilapo is new to the scene and entirely untested, so I wouldn’t expect him to be the one and only writer on this project.

It’s not the first time Warner Bros. has discussed doing this film, either. A few years ago, they had a script and a star - Brad Pitt - lined up. But the project completely fell apart, and none of the people who were working on that attept are working on this one. Dilapo is starting from scratch.

No production or release dates are set for the Odyssey adaptation.