QUO VADIS Richard Armitage?

The longer Richard Armitage makes me wait to hear what his next project will, the less able I am to resist indulging in wild flights of fancy on the subject.   People have been throwing about all sorts of roles that Richard Armitage is rumored to be contender for, or that they would love to see him do…from comic book heroes to a charming, gentlemanly vampire (?) and more.  I thought that I might as well throw my hat into the ring with some ancient world possibilities.

The solid commercial (if not always critical) success of projects like Gladiator, Troy, Rome and Spartacus in the past 15 years, in addition to the plethora of “sword and sandal” epics in the  fifties and sixties, lends credence to the notion that films and television series set in the ancient world have wide popular appeal.  This week I was idly wondering what roles from the ancient world I’d like to see my fave appear in, which led me to taking a look around to see what stories are in the works.  A few mouse clicks, and what do I find but a section on the novelist Steven Saylor’s website that talks about the very thing.  Trawling around there, this caught my eye…

Hmmm, "What current actor could match the sheer screen presence of Charlton Heston in the campy but classic The Ten Commandments?"  I wonder?????

Hmmm, “What current actor could match the sheer screen presence of Charlton Heston in the campy but classic The Ten Commandments?” I wonder?????

I was happily contemplating Richard Armitage as Moses going to to toe with, an as yet uncast, Ramses, wooing Nefertari,  rescuing the daughters of Jethro, burning bushes, Plagues of Egypt, Exo….wait a minute – what’s that?


– Ergh – Foiled again!

It was great while it lasted!   I am not one to be defeated that easily, so my hunt continued and I saw any number of things that looked sort of interesting (and a few are actually in some degree of development).   Last week Perry and I were considering a version of the Roman poet Vergil’s epic tale of Aeneas, the progenitor of the Roman race – as far as I can find, this story has never been made for film or TV.    There’s been scuttlebutt for years about a feature film continuation of the HBO series Rome (please, please, please), and latent talk of a major motion picture version of Homer’s Odyssey.   My favorite prospect at the moment is this one:

It's not just TV, it's HBO!

It’s not just TV, it’s HBO!

Remakes seem to be the name of the game these days, and this one could be great.  If you’ve not seen I, Claudius, a 1976 BBC series based on the Robert Graves novel by the same name, you should.  The production value is dated now,  but it is a masterpiece on a number of levels…not to mention a who’s who of British stage and screen in the 1970’s.  The title role of the emperor Claudius was a breakout role for Derek Jacobi – that’s Sir Derek Jacobi these days.  I would be hugely interested to see what Richard Armitage would do with Claudius (or Augustus, or Tiberius, or…)  Yes, it is TV, but recent HBO efforts have definitely had cinematic qualities.  HBO and the BBC have partnered successfully before, and have garnered great casts in memorable roles.

Yes, yes, you do the, "I'd like to tell you, but - " routine very well, however...

Yes, yes, you do the, “I’d like to tell you, but – ” routine very well, however…

It certainly is fun to consider what if, but in the land of reality, please Mr. Armitage, what’s next?  I know you wouldn’t want my death on your conscience, and the suspense is KILLING me!

38 comments on “QUO VADIS Richard Armitage?

  1. Perry says:

    Oh my.I roared out loud when I read Christian Bale may play Moses. (ROL?).

  2. kelbel75 says:

    Richard could be Ramses to Bale’s Moses…and then I would pass out at the movie theatre, with both my guys in one movie together! *laughs*

    as for what Richard is going to do next, the anticipation is starting to make me anxious. just tell us already!!

  3. Watergirl43 says:

    I’m with you…the suspense is killing me. And I am in desperate need of new RA material.

    I also want to let you know I love your blog and look forward to each new post.

    • obscura says:

      I can see the headlines…”Mysterious illness is KILLING fangirls worldwide!”

      Thanks so much for your kind words, and for commenting. I’m so glad you’re along for the ride!

  4. guylty says:

    I am far too lazy to research real projects that are in the pipeline at the moment. My current dream is that somebody make the Greek mythology into a film and RA to star as some (hot) God in that. And I am not just saying that to my favourite provider of insight into ancient culture, history and myth, but because I am genuinely interested in such a project. I would love to see the whole story of Mount Olympus put onto celluloid (well, digital drives), because it deserves to be re-told.

    • obscura says:

      Believe me, if I’d had to dig very deep, we would not be chatting about this – g…g…g..google 🙂
      Re-telling all of myth? A Herculean task indeed…bwahahaha!

      • guylty says:

        Well, could be turned into a series of films… Ok, well, just a little family story then – you know, Zeus with all his various conquests. Come on, RA would make a lovely Zeus, dark hair like a Greek god. Action, romance, drama – all there. While he’s at it, he could play all of his divine sons as well, sure there must be a family resemblance…

  5. Richard as Ramses and Christian Bale as Moses…and to think I’d have to root for the so-called bad guys….LOL…

    • obscura says:

      I thought Yul Brynner was the more interesting character in the original myself…this would put RA’s comment that he’d rather shave his head than gain 20 lbs to the test :). Him running around in nothing but a kilt for several hours wouldn’t be bad either!

      • I sat next to a saleman from Utilikilts on the flight from Chicago to Charlotte, NC. He had on the most incredibly beautiful black leather kilt and jacket, with a tourquise shirt. Had the whole boots, spoorn, everything. Plus he was really good looking. And incredibly nice. I was mesmerized. I could do RA in a kilt. I could do Sir Guy in that black leather kilt….oops, I’m slobbering again.

  6. Astera says:

    Armitage in an HBO remake of I, Claudius? Excuse me while I take a short leap into the Elysian Fields. I love reading your blog, by the way.

  7. KatharineD says:

    I’ll cop to being old enough to have seen I Claudius when it was shown on TV. As a family we watched a lot of period drama on our national broadcaster (good, quality viewing for the bookish offspring of librarians, you see), and that was truly landmark television. I have vivid memories of Derek Jacobi brilliantly stammering his lines- a remarkable performance, and a strong cast all round with the husky voiced Sian Phillps and the wonderful Brian Blessed. A remake would need to be done with great skill to stand along side the original, but a part for RA?- sure!

    The waiting for a role announcement is a bit like searching for a vital,mislaid item around the house- you go looking in the most ridiculous, unlikely places purely because it has to be found somewhere. Until we know better, we’ll continue to look down every rabbit hole, no matter how far-fetched, casting RA in any and all genres to quench our thirst for answers!

    • obscura says:

      I loved Sian Phillips as Livia – she was spectacular! John Hurt as Caligula – wow! I think you’re right, that there are some big shoes to fill, but with careful casting and discipline as to not run amok in terms of gratuitous violence and sex…a little goes along way – definitely somewhere shy of Starz current Spartacus sword and shag fest :), this could be a winner.

      Nice analogy!

    • Leigh says:

      Amen. I saw “I, Claudius” and almost everyone in the cast impressed me. It’s a motherlode of great parts!

      • obscura says:

        How about a young Patrick Stewart as Sejanus? (I didn’t know until just now that he had also played John Thornton in a 1975 production of North and South)

  8. katie70 says:

    Zeus or maybe Hades would be good. Now who to play Persephone?

  9. […] Ancient Armitage’s got her ancient role suggestions going on! […]

  10. Joanna says:

    Indeed ..Quo vadis, Richard?
    Armitage as Ramses ? ..the next round of depilation? 😉

  11. Darn it, he would have been brilliant as Moses! But the idea of him as Claudius doesn’t seem bad either 😀

    • obscura says:

      Well, there’s always the rumored Speilberg opus on the same topic…. 🙂 I think he could really shine in I, Claudius too. Can’t blame a girl for dreaming!

  12. Perry says:

    Wait a minute! I just read this again – they’re going to call the film “Exodus?” That’s just wrong. I guess there’s no copyright issue- but still. I object!

    • obscura says:

      I’m less troubled by the title (the Greek transliteration (έξοδος) further transliterated into the Latin form, bears little resemblance in meaning to the original Hebrew title of the book) than I am that it’s a Ridley Scott project. His other forays into the historical (1492, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven) have not exactly paid much attention to historical “detail” (or facts). We shall see I suppose. This is a difficult event to bear out factually in any case, since the Bible is the only version of it…Egyptian sources have no record of it.

      • Perry says:

        I was referring to the Paul Newman movie based on Leon Uris;s book, So they should use a different title.
        I;m a big fan of Gladiator, but not for the historical significance.

        • obscura says:

          ah, there’s my classic movie IQ for you! There are a lot of titles they could use…I just. Saw a news feed this AM that the call for extras in Andalusia has been answered by thousands of unemployed from all over Spain.

          I didn’t hate Gladiator, and there were great performances (I really liked Oliver Reed’s Proximo, and Joaquin Phoenix really captures well the kind of manical narcissism of Commodus) but I couldn’t help getting tripped up in historical issues. Occupational hazard I guess 🙂

          • Perry says:

            No I appreciate that. I researched it after I saw Gladiator see whether there was ever a Maximus (there was) and whether any Emperor was killed in the ring (no)- and I think the timing was off too.

          • obscura says:

            I think the whole fairy tale that Marcus Aurelius intended the empire to revert to a republic upon his death, and that there was contention with Commodus’ succession is what really bugged me. No, and no. MA may have been a student of Stoic philosophy, but he also spent the majority of his 20 year reign expanding the imperial state, and he elevated Commodus to co-emperor several years before his own death in 180. I think, just like the sword and sandal epics used a Roman backdrop to reflect the antagonistic relationships of the Cold War, an underlying message of this film is “democratic governments good, imperialism bad”

            Commodus didn’t die in the amphitheater, but he is recorded to have fought…obsessed with gladiators. He was victorious of course, just like Nero was at the Olympic Games a century earlier – no one actually would beat the emperor if they planned to live to tell about it :). It was a huge scandal…something along the line of having a sitting US president turn up in the Octagon for an MMA bout.

  13. Perry says:

    “The Prophet – Here and Back Again.”
    “Forty Years in the Valley”
    Re: Exodus. See it if you can. Paul Newman, Omar Shariff, Eva Marie Saint, about the liberation of Palestine.

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