Francis Lawrence to direct Homer's The Odyssey from Hunger Games writer
With THE HUNGER GAMES - MOCKINGJAY PART 2 set to premiere later this year, director Francis Lawrence is off to helm his next project. Since he directed three of the four HUNGER GAMES movies, Lawrence has fostered bonds with the producers and writers on the franchise which may be why they are reteaming to bring a new take on Homer's The Odyssey to the big screen.
The Odyssey is one of the most lasting adventure stories in the history of literature and has yet never had a truly epic big screen adaptation. There have been films focused on aspects of the story (O BROTHER, WHERE ARE THOU? and BIG FISH come to mind) and characters (TROY, based on The Iliad), but the "sequel" tale has best been adapted as an NBC mini-series starring Armand Assante in the lead.
Lionsgate is fast-tracking THE ODYSSEY to begin production next year and Francis Lawrence is putting any other projects on hold to direct the film. HUNGER GAMES franchise producer Nina Jacobson will produce the film from a screenplay by MOCKINGJAY writer Peter Craig.
There is no word on whether this will be a single film or a multi-part series, but that could be the first sign that Lionsgate is not approaching this as a new franchise but rather a big budget adaptation of the timeless epic poem. If the movie is coming together quickly, I would expect casting announcements to be made by the end of the year which now begs the dream casting of who could play Odysseus. The great Sean Bean played the character in TROY, maybe he could return for the "seque".