With the abundant rash of household name properties like Robin Hood being rushed into development by every studio under the sun, it was only a matter of time before the pantheon of Greek myths were tapped. In competition with 20th Century Fox’s stagnant version, Paramount Pictures is now developing a new JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS film.
Susan Landau is leading the charge on this one, producing with a script penned by Christopher Hollier. Hollier, known for his work on series such as Elementary and Alias, currently serves as a co-executive producer on The CW series The Originals.
Nathan Samdahl and Ashley Brucks are overseeing for Paramount. Our sources confirm that the project is moving along quickly, with concept art and VFX presentations already being put together, in the efforts to court a director to shepherd the newest iteration of the ancient Greek tale.
The plot of the film will follow the myth’s classic quest, following our man Jason and his band of heroes as they search for the Golden Fleece. The journey Jason undertakes is in an effort to retrieve the token that will grant him the authority to command the throne of Iolcus and banish his tyrannical uncle. The adventure includes a perilous voyage with his soldiers on their ship the Argo, combating gods, monsters, and the multi-headed hydra along the way.
The story was notably brought to life in the 1963 film of the same name, which featured now famed special effects from legend Ray Harryhausen and an iconic sequence with skeleton soldiers. Elements of the story have appeared in numerous forms since, with sequences and characters appearing in nearly every adaptation of Greek myths.
Fox put a project, titled The Argonauts, into development in 2008 when the sword-and-sandal genre was experiencing a mini heyday following Legenday/Warner Bros.’ remake of Clash of The Titans, which follows hero Perseus as he journeys to defeat the wicked gorgon Medusa. Fox hired Zak Penn to script The Argonauts, but there’s been little word on the status of that project since. The success of Clash led to a sequel in 2012, which effectively extinguished interest in the genre again.
Paramount’s not the only one now hurrying to tap the well of Greek stories, as Lionsgate and Color Force recently began developing a new adaptation of The Odyssey with director Francis Lawrence. That film, which was quickly fast-tracked at the studio, saw Hugh Jackman entering talks to star just this past August.
Hollier is typically known for his work in the television space, in the past, wrote for Alias, Kyle XY, and the short-lived 666 Park Avenue. Before serving as a writer and producer on The CW’s vampire drama The Originals, he was a writer and consulting producer on CBS Sherlock Holmes update Elementary. Currently, Hollier serves as a co-executive producer on the third season of The Originals.
Laundau, who reps Hollier, will produce via her Thompson Street Entertainment banner.
Hollier is repped by UTA and Thompson Street.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor