The Romans and The Greeks Are Back!


by Irma Arkus

The Greeks (and Romans, countrymen) are back! For one, while not sci-fi related, but a definite personal favorite, “Rome” the series, is finally approved for a film treatment. I did a little dance around the living room, celebrating the return of Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of the buddy-cop comedies, but when you turn them into raucus Greco-Roman stories, it seems I can’t get enough of them!

This also bodes well for Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson who, by all accounts, should have experienced a kind of stardom after the wrap-up of the series.

Stevenson did a fantastic job as “The Punisher” and is generally an actor that I am eager to see more of. But watching “Outpost,” a zombie-nazi-sci-fi action thriller, was one of the longest and most painful experiences of my life. And “Babylon Fields,” a pilot for another, more intriguing television show about zombies, was excellent, but never took off.

McKidd similarly had his try at “Journeyman,” a soft-drama with a supernatural, time-travelling twists, that ended with a whimper after a season.

But that is only the begining of the Greco-Roman revival.

The legendary “Clash of the Titans” (1981) is revived with a remake. Perseus has to save the love of his life, Andromeda. In the midst of this “Operation Save Andromeda,” Zeus of course, interferes continuously, forcing Perseus to face numerous challenges.

Sam Worthington, newly minted from his success as the nicer, heartfelt Terminator, in “Terminator: Salvation,” and “Avatar” is starring as Perseus. The film is overloaded with familiar faces and special effects, a kind of “2012” with a Greek myth edge, including Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Mads Mikkelsen, and Jason Flemyng.And then, surprisingly, there is “Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”The film is obviously aimed at family adventure crowd, and even I tend to watch an occasional stab at the genre, even if it has been Nicholas Cage-d as of lately.

Kevin McKidd is starring as the angry Poseidon. Percy Jackson is Logan Lerman, a fresh faced, pretty teen who will assuredly be the next big thing that most of us will never understand or care about, and there are also Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Catherine Keener, Steve Coogan and Sean Bean.

So there we are. Lots of deities, Greek gods, angry Romans, and an occassional appearance by Zeus and Poseidon.