The Diary: Pitt to star in Homer's 'Odyssey' set in space

A space Odyssey

Brad Pitt is reported to be dusting off his sword and sandals to create a futuristic version of Homer's 'Odyssey' set in space. Traditionalists might baulk, but Robin Lane Fox, an Oxford don and father of the internet entrepreneur Martha, tells me he would be happy to lend an expert hand in bringing the surreal vision to our screens. Lane Fox, a classics fellow at New College, said the intergalactic setting was perfectly in keeping with the spirit of Homer's original, waylaid as Odysseus was by all sorts of fantastical creatures. "Why not set the adventures on a planet far away? If you are making a historical film, you are obliged to keep the historical framework, but this is a film based on myth," he says. Lane Fox, who advised director Oliver Stone for 'Alexander', says he could do with a second stint in Hollywood. "I was plucked from my dreary surroundings to become historical consultant for 'Alexander'. I think they would be very stupid not to ask me back."

Raging Bartley

Fresh from the critical success of his film 'Somers Town', the director Shane Meadows spoke to me about his next project, a biopic of the "King of the Gypsies", a champion bare-knuckle boxer called Bartley Gorman whose growing religious bent led him to tire of the violence of his life. The director and his father knew the fighter, who died in 2002. Meadows said the film would be the nearest thing to a British version of Martin Scorsese's 'Raging Bull'. Filming begins in Britain by the end of 2009, and Paddy Considine stars.

Rock on the Nile

A set of musical rocks dating from 5,000BC, used in Sudan as an ancient "drum kit", is coming to the British Museum. For centuries, the rock formations near the Nile were deemed of little historical interest. But, after a 10-year study, they've been found to be granite gongs that produce melodious sounds when struck with a pebble. The museum says the rocks may exhibited in a way that permits the public to "play" them. What's the bet that the marketing will talk of this being the earliest "rock music" at some point?

Sex is harder now

Jilly Cooper, the grand dame of the bonkbuster, says writing sex scenes is getting harder because "it's difficult to write a sex scene with a condom". She thought sex was also better off the written page in times gone by. Not so in the 1960s, when she and her husband Leo were always being asked by other couples to go to bed with them. Speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, the author also bemoaned age banding books because it "makes young people want to read the naughty books more".

Byzantine indeed...

When a silver cup was discovered in 1911 in Turkey, it was hailed as the Holy Grail. Years later, the theory that this was the vessel Jesus used at the Last Supper was tarnished when experts dated the cup's mount to the 6th century. Conspiracy theories raged on, and now, experts have said it is not a chalice but a lamp. Professor Robin Cormack of the Royal Academy of Arts said: "For 50 years, people thought it was the Holy Grail. Maybe some still think it is. Now they say it is a lamp." Whatever the experts call it, it still takes pride of place at the RA's latest blockbuster, Byzantium, opening tomorrow.

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Arts and Entertainment
Bono throws water at the crowd while the Edge watches as they perform in the band's first concert of their new world tour in Vancouver

MusicThey're running their own restaurants

Voices
The main entrance to the BBC headquarters in London
TV & Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
    I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

    I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

    Latest on the Labour leadership contest
    Froome seals second Tour de France victory

    Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

    Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
    Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

    The uses of sarcasm

    'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
    A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

    No vanity, but lots of flair

    A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
    Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

    In praise of foraging

    How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food