Thor won’t be the only mythic hero from antiquity making a silver screen debut on Friday. Those intending to pay good money to see the Marvel thunder god throw his hammer at frost giants and fire-breathing automatons will also get to see Henry Cavill — cinema’s next Superman — fling mystical arrows at sword-swinging Greeks and monstrous elemental demons in the new trailer for Immortals, a fantasy epic from Relativity Studios in the vein of Clash of the Titans due in theaters November 11. The movie — produced by 300’s Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari and directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell) — stars Cavill as a hunky peasant named Theseus who becomes a reluctant hero in a battle with a villainous incognito deity named Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) bent on world and celestial domination. The gods of Olympus — including Zeus (Luke Evans) and Poseidon (Kellan Lutz) — want to stop the evil titan, but are restricted from meddling with mankind’s free will, and so they must exert their influence on the sly via Theseus. The trailer hit the web online last week but will be making its theatrical premiere tomorrow. The tease is a showcase for Rourke’s sleazy menace, Cavill’s steely charisma, and Tarsem’s distinctive, painterly visuals. You can check out a larger version of the exclusive new image from the film below.
Meanwhile, the shot of the heavens filled with warring gods from the trailer resembles the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, re-imagined as a pagan apocalypse. Check it out:
In an interview with EW, Canton says that Relativity recognized that Thor provided Immortals with a great marketing opportunity since “the core Marvel audience is comprised of the fanboys and fangirls that will be the core audience for own event movie.” The producers say they are keenly aware Cavill’s new notoriety gives their movie an edge in the marketplace. Still, they chose not to underscore the whole “Starring The New Superman!” of it all by spelling it out in the trailer. “We don’t need to. He just is Superman,” says Canton. “The role is very heroic, very hot, very fitting for a movie star.”
The producers adds that an other mission with the trailer was to emphasize Tarsem’s visual style so as to help distinguish the film from other movies of the genre — including their own blockbuster credit, 300. “It’s a whole new look for a new generation,” says Canton. Adds Nunnari: “We hear a lot of chatter, ‘Oh, it looks like 300.’ And certainly we invite that because the trailer does say, ‘From the producers of 300.’ But the movie is not 300, it’s not intended to be 300, it’s not a sequel to 300. This movie is Tarsem’s movie. 300 is a child we had another wife and it did very well and hopefully we’ll have more children with that woman, but that has nothing to do with this new love story.” (Ladies and gentlemen, EW’s pick for Most Awesome Analogy Of The Day.)
On a more serious note, Canton believes Immortals will be relevant to a culture that may want something different from heroic fantasy in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s death. Indeed, many movie studio execs attribute the recent popularity of the superhero genre to the post-9/11 zeitgeist. Canton thinks moviegoers will continue to want hero stories — they always have, of course — but that they may want to see more reality-based, aspirational expressions of heroism. While Immortals is very much a fantasy, Canton argues that the very moral Theseus is a guy we can relate to and want to be. “This is a story of an ordinary man, a common man, who strives to become the best version himself — a man of faith, a man of character, a man who understands the bigger picture of heroism,” says Canton. “We now have an entire generation of that came of age after 9/11 and were enveloped by it. This generation needs heroes, and that includes the kids in college, which happens to be our core audience. Last night, if you turned on CNN and you heard about these Navy seals, the elite of the elite — they’re faceless. We’ll never know them, but we know they’re out there. It’s great to not just be able to have heroes that you can emotionally relate, but you think you might actually be able to be if you wanted to and worked hard enough. I think Immortals will tap into that zeitgeist.”