Exclusive: Jonathan Liebesman Announces 'Spaghetti Gladiator' Project

January 27, 2009

Jonathan Liebesman

South African director Jonathan Liebesman is finally starting to make a name for himself after directing Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. He's got The Killing Room coming out of Sundance quite quite a bit of buzz and has already lined up the alien invasion film Battle: Los Angeles next. But what about after that? How about a "spaghetti gladiator" movie? Liebesman revealed to us in our interview last week the preliminary details on his next project following Battle: LA, which he referred to as "one of those spaghetti westerns, but it's a spaghetti gladiator movie, so it's like that kind of film." What to know more?

Liebesman revealed that it's a project he's working on with the producers of 300 that he hasn't said anything about until now. The film is about "the story of Odysseus and basically it's in the vein of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, or Yojimbo, where he comes back after 20 years at war and finds his island overtaken by bad guys and it's sort of a small taut kintetic action film of how this guy wins his island back." Liebesman also added that aforementioned bit about how it's like a western, but set in the time of ancient Greece instead. He will shoot and finish Battle: Los Angeles before he gets to this new project, meaning he'll get some experience shooting action first.

We're all familiar with the classic Odysseus story, which is why this seems pretty damn interesting. Anyone else think it could turn into something cool? We'll let you know once we hear more about the project.

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love Oedipus Rex. love Leone Spaghetti Westerns. love this idea. epic win.

Al on Jan 27, 2009


My thoughts... What makes a movie a "spaghetti western" besides being made by Italians? How can you visually spot one from a regular western? (Seriously) What does Odysseus have to do with gladiators? I don't see how you can make an entire movie based on just the ending of a story. That's like...I don't know...remaking Predator but you only remake the final fight scene between the predator and Dutch and stretch it out for two hours (for lack of a better example).

Zso on Jan 27, 2009


@2 I was thinking the same thing. Is this being filmed in Itlay? Gladiators are Roman, but it says ancient Greece. Whatever it sounds kinda cool, I'll wait for a trailer

theotherbluth on Jan 28, 2009


^Well there's that and then there's the genius Al saying he loves Oedipus Rex which has nothing to do with Odysseus and really not an action story. That's really neither here nor there but still. If you're gonna post, know what you're talking about. Sure it sounds good on paper but so did communism. I never look forward to anything until there are some decent previews. Speculation leads to hype which can kill a movie, much like Cloverfield.

Aravena on Jan 28, 2009


@ 2 & 3 : exactly what I was thinking. Gladiators = Romans. @ 4 : Even on paper this spells disaster. Destroying a classic Greek myth and removing the entire quest just seems wrong to me.

Hyacinth on Jan 28, 2009


Read this article twice still don't know what to say. So many reasons why it could be bad. But none of them really concrete or compelling. How long until we can see a trailer?

Dating in Toronto on Mar 23, 2009

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