By EW Staff
Updated April 21, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Troy is a summer movie we can’t wait to see


WHY WE CAN’T WAIT Director Wolfgang Petersen (”Das Boot,” ”The Perfect Storm”) knows how to make brainy and brawny action spectacles, and this time the spectacle includes Brad Pitt (pictured), Orlando Bloom, and Eric Bana (”The Hulk”) in skirts and sandals.

THE PREMISE After Trojan prince Paris (Bloom) steals Helen (newcomer Diane Kruger) away from her husband, the Greeks launch a thousand ships and lay siege upon Troy. Ultimately, the two armies’ top warriors, Achilles (Pitt) and Hector (Bana), go mano-a-mano.

SOURCE Homer’s ”Iliad”

THE BACK STORY In the kind of irony you can’t make up, Pitt actually injured his Achilles tendon during the shoot, sidelining himself for months. Still, when it came to the fight with Bana’s Hector, neither actor held back. Says Bana, ”We both felt like, man, it?s been a long time coming, so all bets were off. We decided to really go for it, and if we connected, don?t worry about it. We belted each other around quite a bit.”

BURNING QUESTION Will viewers who couldn’t make it through Homer’s epic in high school sit still for a sword-and-sandals movie that doesn’t feature Russell Crowe unleashing hell?

COME FOR ”Fight Club” and ”Snatch”-trained brawler Pitt

STAY FOR An ending that features the biggest, most surprising equine star since ”Seabiscuit”