The last time Brad Pitt appeared in a film adaptation of an epic ancient Greek text by Homer, he won less than glittering reviews, to put it mildly.
But the panning he received for playing the hero Achilles in Troy, based on The Iliad, clearly has not deterred him, as he is interested in starring in a film version of Homer's other great work, The Odyssey. He is teaming up with the director George Miller, who won an Oscar for the animated feature Happy Feet.
Warner Brothers is backing the project, which will set the action in outer space in its reimagining of the classic fable, according to Variety, which wrote: "Warner Bros has quietly set up The Odyssey, and the early hope is that Pitt will star and Miller will direct, with Pitt's Plan B producing."
In Homer's original poem, the reader is introduced to the hero Odysseus – the cleverest of the Greek soldiers who built the Trojan horse – as he makes his return journey home to his wife Penelope in Ithaca, in the aftermath of the Trojan War. In spite of his best efforts, Odysseus is waylaid for 10 years by sea-nymphs, witches, cyclops and monsters.
The costumes for Pitt's The Odyssey have not yet been revealed, but it is unlikely to be the traditional Greek dress and sandals which he wore for 2004's Troy.
This is the second "Odyssey in space" movie announced this week. The director Ridley Scott described his next project, a film called Forever War, a screen adaptation of Joe Haldeman's 1974 novel, as "The Odyssey by way of Blade Runner".
But Nick James, editor of the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound magazine, said he was disappointed to hear that Pitt's retelling of Homer's tale would not be more faithful to the text. "I don't understand why the makers are not doing a completely straight version. With the impressive CGI effects we have today, they could render a brilliantly straightforward telling of the story," he said.