This year, Lionsgate finds itself in the same position that Warner Bros. was in a few years back. Its golden goose franchise—The Hunger Games—is coming to an end, and the studio is trying to find ways to bolster up its slate. Given that Catching Fire and Mockingjay – Part 1 were the #1 and #2 movies, respectively, of 2013 and 2014, it’s certainly gonna hurt not to have that kind of revenue coming in next year. But the studio is doing all it can to get some new franchises going, and fresh off this morning’s news that Now You See Me 3 is already in development comes word that the studio’s upcoming adaptation of The Odyssey will span a number of films.
We learned last month that director Francis Lawrence—who has helmed every Hunger Games film except the first—is reteaming with Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson and Lionsgate on an ambitious adaptation of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, and today Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer revealed (via Variety) that the plan is to develop at least two movies from the material, adding that the studio is “feeling very, very bullish” about the property.
The Odyssey is one of the greatest stories ever told, and while it’s been adapted countless times on both the big screen and the small screen (remember the Armande Assante version?), I’m enthused about this new adaptation because of Lawrence’s involvement. I’ll be the first to admit I initially wasn’t thrilled about him taking over the Hunger Games franchise for Gary Ross, but I’ve been blown away by the films that he’s put together. The Hunger Games series will go down in history not simply as a successful YA franchise, but one of the greatest dystopian sci-fi series of all time. It’s entertaining, thoughtful, and thematically rich, which is a combination I can get behind if applied to The Odyssey.