Dark Horizons report
Jonathan English's take on one
of the classic Greek villians, MINOTAUR, is finally in production. The flick has
been delayed for over a year, with many wondering if it would actually happen.
Well fear not my friends. It started shooting last month at Carousel Picture Co.
I'm pretty psyched for a number of reasons, most importantly though are cast and concept. Tony Todd and Rutger Hauer are in this bad boy, so you know that'll make for a good time. And I've always loved the simple concept of being trapped in a maze with this terrifying creature and having to battle for your life. Especially when the hero has chosen to be there.
The full synopsis from First Look Media goes like this:
In this forgotten age of iron and bronze there exists a village with a terrible curse. Every fifth year the village must give up nine youths to horned soldiers who take them across the sea to a mysterious and terrifying isle. There they are sacrificed to a god that feeds upon the flesh of children. Theo (Luke Mably) has escaped each year because he's protected by his father, leader of the village. No longer a child but not yet a man, Theo wrestles with his young conscience and with the fading memory of his long lost love, taken in the last sacrifice. Theo knows that soon enough the horned soldiers will come again, but this time will be different. This time, aided by his best friend and village rival, they will go under disguise of the sacrificial youths. They will travel to the great palace, and there, they will kill the horned soldier's god. They will kill the Minotaur.
Sign me up! To watch it that is...not for the stalking a bull-man with a giant axe through a maze part.
Tuesday, February 15th,
According to Variety
Minotaur refuses to die.
Almost killed twice, pic is rising again, this time with Tom Hardy (Layer Cake)
and Rutger Hauer joining Tony Todd in the horror-fantasy retelling of the
ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.
After a turbulent year in development, Jonathan English's long-gestating project started shooting last month at the Carousel Picture Co. in Luxembourg, which also came on board as a co-financier with London-based Scion Films after Germany's Studio Babelsberg pulled out at the last minute.
Lions Gate Films is releasing the picture stateside.
DC reports that the SciFi Channel will premiere the film in March.
Horror veteran Ingrid Pitt (Wicker Man) has a cameo in the film according to her official site. In it she was quoted saying: "I slipped off to Luxembourg to do a cameo part in a film about the Minotaur. The story roughly follows the Greek legend. Theseus, commonly known to his mates as Theo, decides he is going to stop the iniquitous trade of white slaving said mates to the labyrinths of Athens and the Minotaur. He gets included in the next draft, borrows a skein of ribbon from Ariadne, a girl he met down by the docks, does the Minotaur in and marries the Grecian Squeeze. I play a Leprous Sibyl with a leaning towards Cassandraism and get my come-uppance in the first five minutes or so. Dispatched messily by Rutger Hauer, but I do get to come back and do some ghostly business amongst the trees all through the film." You can check a couple pics of ingrid in make-up here. Thanks to "Mykol Gantt".
I've added a couple names to the cast and some small poster art. Shooting began on January 23rd in Luxembourg. Thanks to "Mykol Gantt".
Apparently a German studio that was set to co-finance the film will no longer be involved in the project as their main facility will be undergoing reconstruction, so the project is once again in search for funding.
- The film has gone through various financial problems since the project began.
- Director Jonathan English has described the film as a prehistoric Alien and a teen horror movie set in 14th century B.C.
- Lion's Gate is distributing this film theatrically.
- Steven Berkoff (Beverly Hills Cop) plays the village leader.
- Tony Todd (Candyman) plays the ruler.
- Produced and directed by Jonathan English.
- Written by Steven McDool and Nick Green.
- Based on the Greek legend of Theseus and the half-man, half-bull monster.
News: Face the Minotaur This Weekend (Movie) World of Foy
This Saturday night the Sci-Fi Channel will be premiering the motion picture Minotaur, but before anyone dismisses it as just another crappy Sci-Fi Channel monster movie, there's a strong possibility that this one might actually be worth tuning into. First of all, it was not specifically produced by or for the Sci-Fi Channel, and that automatically decreases the potential sucking quite a bit. Second, Minotaur is a $7 million British production, which means the usual suspects (Nu Image, UFO, Cinetel) were not involved in the making of the film. Third, the Minotaur itself will be brought to life through a combination of CGI and animatronics, another deviation from the typical all-bad CGI Sci-Fi Channel formula. Fourth, and most importantly: Minotaur is a period film, so it won't be able to follow the usual Sci-Fi Channel movie formula that almost always involves heroic scientists/blue collar types dealing with a menace spawned by evil military/corporate types. Minotaur is (duh!) based on the Greek legend of villagers being sacrificed to a half-man/half-bull creature lurking within an enormous maze.
Set in 1400 B.C., ten youths (five boys/five girls) from a small village are taken by soldiers every five years to be sacrificed to the Minotaur, a sacred monster living within a labyrinth under the palace at Knossos. This time, young Theseus decides to fight back, leading the others in a plan to kill the Minotaur, putting an end once to the beast and the corrupt ruler responsible for the ritualistic sacrifices. The bulk of the film's second half is set in the labyrinth as the youths and the monster hunt one another.
Layer Cake's Tom Hardy is cast as the heroic Theseus, with Candyman himself, Tony Todd, as the evil, hedonistic ruler responsible for the sacrifices. Hammer veteran Ingrid Pitt and Rutger Hauer turn up in smaller roles as well. The film also stars an actor named Lex Shrapnel who, despite his biggest credit to date being one of the sons in that horrendous live-action Thunderbirds movie, I feel compelled to point out here because his name is Lex Shrapnel. How is this man not a comic book supervillain or a member of G.I. Joe with a name like that?
First-time director Jonathan English set out to make a "prehistoric Alien" with Minotaur, also describing it as a teen horror movie set in 14th century B.C. Well, the "prehistoric Alien" comment excites me more than teen horror B.C.
Minotaur will be unleashed by the Sci-Fi Channel this Saturday, March 11th, at 9/8 central with a repeat four hours later. My fingers are crossed because this one looks like it might actually be a worthwhile monster movie, a rare thing these days, especially on the Sci-Fi Channel.
Review by Kyle Braun
Visual Appeal: B
One of the best places to look for movie ideas is the past. Whether it's going back to the '70s, way back to World War II, even further back through American history or back to the days of Greek and Roman mythology. One thing is true when it comes to both TV and film: old ideas are always new again. As for the Greek and Roman mythology genre, Hollywood has put out such huge epics as Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonautsand most recently Troy. Applying this same line of thought to the small screen, SCI FI Channel has scoured the myths for an epic of their own, Minotaur, which airs Saturday, March 11th.
Based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, screenwriters Nick Green and Stephen McDool were charged with the daunting task of adapting a famous story into a workable made-for-TV movie. The great thing about writing is when you're dealing with history that goes so far back to the days when fantasy was somehow reality, our brains can't really separate fact from fiction. In the case of Minotaur, there's a fine line between accuracy to the myth and creative liberty. Instead of the name Theseus, our hero is now called Theo for short. The origins of the Minotaur are not derived from Zeus transforming into a bull and getting freaky with a human but rather through a much more elaborate method. Nonetheless, accuracy to the myth is not a necessity. As you'll see, Hollywood uses a creative spin to add more spice into the movie and into our viewing experience.
Minos, an island kingdom, requires a tribute from a sleepy village in return for the assassination of their prince. The price is set at eight youths at a rate of every three years to be sacrificed to the beast god Minotaur. The leader of this small hamlet, Cyrnan (Rutger Hauer), demands the protection of his son, Theo (Tom Hardy), who is set to ascend the leadership of the village upon Cyrnan's death. As fate would have it, Theo's got other plans as he's determined to find his former love who was taken as part of the previous tribute. Theo trades places with one of the eight unfortunate souls and sets off for an exotic trip to the island paradise of Minos.
The King of Minos, Deucalion (Tony Todd), is one hardcore and screwed-up dude. Between breathing a mystery gas and throwing people into the labyrinth for the Minotaur to feast upon, he also seems to be hellbent on marrying his sister. After casting all eight youths down into the depths of the labyrinth, we get our tasty fix of gore and screaming terror as people get picked off one by one. The action heats up when Deucalion's sister, Raphaella (Michelle Van Der Water), throws herself into the labyrinth to help the youths either escape or kill the evil beast that hunts them.
Minotaur delivers cool, action-packed excitement through suspense and gore, which is enough to keep us mortals from flipping the channels. If you're into cool CGI creatures, SCI FI Channel offers up an electrifying Minotaur for us mythological nuts to feast on. Mind you, it's not the best CGI you'll lay eyes on, but the less-than-stellar effects of Jason and the Argonauts managed to turn Greek cheese into a cult classic. For us geek types, that's all part of the allure of these projects. If you're up for the coolness of the action god Rutger Hauer and Candyman Tony Todd or even Minotaurs in CG, this flick offers up a loud, gory and dynamic Saturday night creepfest .