Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Here’s one Homer surely didn’t see coming. Warner Bros is making The Odyssey, dropping the togas and setting it in space. The studio has just hired James DiLapo to write the futuristic re-imagining of the Greek epic.  Warner Bros has also put in place a blind writing deal behind the project to keep him in the studio fold.

The Odyssey is Homer’s followup to The Illiad, which the studio turned into the Wolfgang Petersen-directed Troy, which starred Brad Pitt as Achilles. The Odyssey tracks the struggle of Odysseus to return from those wars, as suitors line up to marry his wife, and sponge off his estate as they wait for her to make a decision. Terry Dougas of 1821 Pictures hatched the idea of setting the tale in space and he and cohort Paris Kasidokostas Latsis brought the idea to the studio. Brad Pitt was once attached to this one as well, but is no longer. The 1821 duo–who are separately producing Jane Got A Gun which stars Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender and Joel Edgerton–will produce along with David Heyman, with Heyday’s Jeff Clifford also involved in a producing capacity. The project got kickstarted with the pitch by DiLapo. The studio now sees it as a potential franchise and it’s being steered by Greg Silverman and Courtenay Valenti and Racheline Benveniste.

Since DiLapo just graduated from NYU last summer, it’s conceivable that The Odyssey is fresh in his head, from term papers. The scribe is pretty accomplished for one so young. He won the Nicholl Fellowship in the fall for his first script, Devils At Play. That script made the 2012 Black List. It’s set in 1937 Soviet Union, and is a classic paranoid thriller about a worker of The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs who finds a list of traitors which he thinks is going to be his way out. He is repped by Verve and Kaplan Perrone.

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