While Greek myths are often reinterpreted and adapted into modern-day tales, Egyptian mythology rarely takes shape on the big screen. When it does, more often than not it’s the trappings of the ancient culture that fascinate us, rather than the gods in the pantheon.
The legend of King Arthur has enough drama to launch a thousand soap operas: extramarital affairs, an orphan destined for great things, wizards, magic, dragons, incest, and a holy quest. It’s no surprise that the story has been told dozens of times in modern cinema. There’s no way I can cover them all, but here are some of the stand-out adaptations:
While modern adaptations of Greco-Roman mythology abound, movies with direct links to the Celtic tradition can be difficult to find. King Arthur is obviously the most well-known figure of British mythology, but he’ll warrant a post of his own. In the meantime, here are a few of the lesser-known stories with roots in Celtic legend:
Unlike Greek mythology, which was characterized by the meddling of gods in the affairs of mortals, Norse mythology centered more on the gods’ conflicts with each other and with other mythical beings, such as giants, world-encompassing sea monsters, eight-legged horses, dwarves, and elves.
While not quite as popular as Greek myths, tales of Norse gods have made a bit of a comeback in recent years. You might be surprised to see some of the films that draw inspiration from those legends. Continue reading
I’ve always loved myths and legends - Greek, Roman, Norse, Arthurian. As a kid I read and re-read fascinating stories, punctuated by beautiful artwork, in D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, Usborne’s Norse Myths and Legends, Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy. Eventually I graduated to reading the classics, listening to Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and playing Wrath of the Gods on my computer while watching Hercules and Xena religiously every week.
It always gives me a thrill to see those stories brought to life on the big screen for a wider audience, whatever the end result may be. Continue reading