Movie Feature

Mythologizing the Immortals

By Cinema OnlineMovies - 14 November 2011 10:22 AM | Updated 16 November 2011

Mythologizing the Immortals

Above: Henry Cavill stars as Theseus in “Immortals”.

It is obvious that Indian director Tarsem Singh has an ardent interest in the fantastical and mythological. Just take a look at his previous works “The Cell”, starring Jennifer Lopez, “The Fall”, starring Lee Pace, as well as upcoming works such as “Immortals” and the upcoming “Mirror Mirror”.

However, we can certainly relate to that, for what else makes for good storytelling other than tales of love, drama and epic battles waged between Gods? It does not hurt that these stories are actually interesting, so here’s a walkthrough of the characters of “Immortals” and the myths behind them.

 

Theseus (played by Henry Cavill)

Theseus played by Henry Cavill

The myth: The founder-hero of Athens, Theseus was the son of Aegeus, an Athenian king, Poseidon and Aethra, a mortal woman--both of whom Aethra had slept with in one night. As a result, Theseus was gifted with a combination of divine as well as mortal characteristics.

The movie: Theseus is played by Henry Cavill, best known for his roles in “Blood Creek” and the upcoming “Man of Steel”, due 2012. While Theseus’ mythological birthright is retained, this version of Theseus depicts him as a mortal peasant, secretly handpicked by the Gods as their champion to save humanity from the evil schemes of the King Hyperion.

 

Phaedra (played by Freida Pinto)

Phaedra played by Freida Pinto

The myth: In Greek mythology, Phaedra or, alternatively, Phaidra, is the daughter of Minos and Pasiphaë, wife of Theseus and the mother of Demophon of Athens and Acamas. Phaedra is married to Theseus, although she falls in love with Hippolytus, Theseus' son. The reason for Phaedra’s betrayal was due to Aphrodite’s curse, who seeks revenge on Hippolytus for rejecting her.

The movie: After her debut as the heroine of “Slumdog Millionaire”, Freida Pinto’s acting resume has been growing more impressive by the minute. With a blockbuster like “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” it is no surprise that she has been cast in “Immortals” as Phaedra, the oracle priestess who accompanies Theseus in his journey to save his homeland and the Gods.

 

King Hyperion (played by Mickey Rourke)

King Hyperion played by Mickey Rourke

The myth: Hyperion was one of the twelve Titan gods of Ancient Greece, the sons and daughters of Gaia and Ouranos. However, the Titans were soon ousted from their home by the Olympians. Hyperion was referred to in early mythological writings as Helios Hyperion or 'Sun High-one'. He plays virtually no role in Greek culture and mythology, save in lists of the twelve Titans.

The movie: To provide more back story for the character, the movie loosely combines Hyperion with King Minos, the king of Crete and a villain in the myth of Theseus. Mickey Rourke plays Hyperion, the Titan God of Light and the king of Crete who declares war on humanity and leads a bloodthirsty army on a murderous rampage across Greece in search of the Epirus Bow. By obtaining the Epirus Bow, Hyperion would be able to free the Titans from Tartarus to revenge themselves on the gods and mankind. Hyperion is actually a fisherman who came across the corpse of a dead Titan one day, and becomes possessed by the Titan's blood.

 

Poseidon (played by Kellan Lutz)

Poseidon played by Kellan Lutz

The myth: Poseidon was the god of the sea, also known as the "Earth-Shaker," as he caused a great deal of earthquakes, according to Greek mythology. However, records have indicated that Poseidon was first venerated in pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece; although later he was integrated into the lineage of Olympian gods as the brother of Zeus and Hades. Many worship Poseidon, especially the sailors, for a safe voyage, often sacrificing horses by drowning them in the sea to appease the sea god.

The movie: America’s rising star Kellan Lutz, known for his role as Emmett Cullen in the “Twilight” series, is Poseidon in “Immortals”. Like the myth, Poseidon in “Immortals” is the god of the sea, brother of Zeus and Demeter and father of Theseus.

 

 Zeus (played by Luke Evans)

The myth: In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was revered as the "Father of Gods and men". Zeus ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. The child of Cronus and Rhea, and the youngest of his siblings, he was also known as the god of the sky and thunder amongst other things, a raging womaniser. Zeus’s various erotic escapades resulted in many godly and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo and Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy and Minos, to name a few.

The movie: This incarnation of Zeus is played by Luke Evans, although Old Zeus, an earthly manifestation of the God to be mentor to Theseus, is played by John Hurt. Zeus is responsible for Theseus’ heroic journey, as the gods are unable to take sides in the war between Hyperion and humanity, according to ancient laws. Welsh actor Luke Evans was last seen in the movie “The Three Muskeeters”.

 

Athena (played by Isabel Lucas)

Athena played by Isabel Lucas

The myth: In Greek mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Unlike her bloodthirsty and violent brother, Ares, Athena practiced a more disciplined, strategic side of war. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. Time and time again she lends a helping hand to heroes, such as Perseus and Odysseus, although there have been mythologies where Athena has acted for her own selfish gains.

The movie: Australian actress Isabel Lucas is a relatively new face in Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean she does possess the chops, for she has been in the cast in Australian soap television series, “Home and Away”, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Daybreakers”. In “Immortals”, Lucas plays the goddess Athena, and like the mythology, she provides Theseus with much needed help in his heroic quest.

Immortals open in theatres November 17, 2011.