'Hunger Games' team become the next to tackle Homer's 'Odyssey'

Lionsgate has announced it will adapt Homer's 'The Odyssey' for the big screen.

Joel Ryan/AP
Francis Lawrence directed three of the four "Hunger Games" films.

One of literature's most celebrated sagas is coming to a theater near you.

Lionsgate has announced it will adapt Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey," for the big screen.

It's a grand feat to accomplish, and to accomplish it, Lionsgate has enlisted its A-Team, the trio behind another book-to-movie hit, "The Hunger Games." According to reports, Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the four "Hunger Games" films, will direct the film version of "The Odyssey"; Peter Craig, who co-scripted the two installments of "Mockingjay," will write; and Nina Jacobson will produce.

Unlike Greek hero Odysseus' journey, the film is expected to move quickly: According to Deadline.com, "The plan is to begin production early next year, right after the filmmakers complete promotion of Mockingjay – Part 2, which will be released November 20."

Homer's epic poem, "The Odyssey" follows the Greek hero Odysseus, on his perilous journey home to Ithaca after the Trojan War and the fall of Troy. His 10-year journey is the stuff of legend: In the saga, Odysseus, also referred to by his Latin name, Ulysses, wrangles with Olympian gods, is taken captive by nymph Calypso, must escape from the grasp of a Cyclops, and more. All the while, back home in Ithaca, he is assumed dead, and his wife Penelope are forced to fend off suitors.  

"The Odyssey," which Homer is believed to have composed in the 8th century BC, is the second-oldest extant work of literature in the Western world, after "The Iliad."

Bringing a celebrated ancient masterpiece to modern audiences is no small feat – but it's not the first time it's been attempted. In fact, far from it.

It turns out numerous filmmakers have attempted to adapt the epic poem. As Bustle points out, There's been a TV series version, a 2006 movie version that consisted of a collection of short films, each telling different story from the epic, created with a different filmmaker. Perhaps the most famous was the 1954 Ulysses, starring Kirk Douglas. That's not counting all the films inspired by "The Odyssey," including the Coen brothers’ "O Brother, Where Art Thou." And there are rumors of a rival adaptation in development at Warner Bros.

More ways to enjoy one of history's most celebrated works of literature? That can only be a good thing.

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