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July 23, 2011

Comic-Con 2011: ‘Immortals’ brings young Greek gods to the screen

Posted in: Comic-Con,Movies

the immortals movie image 4 Comic Con 2011: Immortals brings young Greek gods to the screen

"Immortals" (Universal Pictures/Relativity Media)

“Immortals” is the latest big-budget action movie looking for love from the audience at Comic-Con International, but unlike most of the other films being pitched here in San Diego, it’s not based on a comic-book, graphic novel or video game. “Immortals,” which opens  Nov. 11,  is an original screenplay — based albeit on Greek mythology.

Director Tarsem Singh (“The Fall,” “The Cell”), a self-proclaimed atheist from the age of 9, says the idea for the project grew out of a conversation he had with his deeply religious mother. She had asked him how he would account for his success if it weren’t for his mother’s prayers? “I was interested in a guy like me dying, going to heaven, only to have the gods say, ‘You schmuck, why didn’t you listen?'” Singh said.

Singh, and Mark Canton, the veteran producer of “300”, hired the latest crop of “it” guys, including Henry Cavill, Luke Evans and Kellan Lutz  to portray Greek gods younger and in better shape than they’ve ever been shown before. Joked Singh, “I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of crap for making the gods young but if you’re going to live forever, would you like to look like Henry [Cavill] or would you like to look like Mark [Canton]?”

Cavill, of course, is on the verge of a very high-profile Hollywood career, having been cast in the lead in director Zack Snyder’s “Superman” reboot, “Man of Steel.”

The “Immortals” footage featured very stylized fighting, heavy CG-effects and a vivid color palate with lots of dark red blood spurting everywhere. Fans were shown the fight scene twice.

Surprisingly, Singh says there were a lot of physical effects, more than he believes were used on Snyder’s “300,” a film that feels in the same vein as “Immortals,” which is also a highly stylized actioner.

As for Cavill, the hardest part was staying in shape and maintaining that leanness throughout the film. “We were so starved, we did have some out-of-body experiences,” he quipped.  “Not much eating, a lot of hard work. My body is my temple.”

Freida Pinto, who plays a Zen priestess in the film, appreciated the efforts Cavill and company went through to stay in shape.  “I liked watching the men. There are few movies where the men have to bare it all and the women remain completely clothed.”

Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher, who moderated the panel, tried to get Cavill to share some details about the upcoming “Superman” movie. But the young British actor wasn’t willing to say much. “It’s one of the best scripts I’ve ever read. I’m quite humbled by the whole experience and can’t wait to get started.”

– Nicole Sperling

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