King Of The Gods: Cinema’s Best Zeuses

Fresh from the producers of 300 and hitting screens on Friday, Immortals offers us the latest incarnation of Zeus in a long cinematic line. The performance comes courtesy of Luke Evans and features plenty of ass-kicking and chest-whipping, but how does his performance match up to his predecessors.

The Z-man sits at the very top of the family tree of Gods and Goddesses. He is King of Gods and requires a suitably puff-chested performance to match his illustrious title.

We have trawled through the archives for some of the most memorable Zeus performances so that viewers may compare and contrast Luke Evans’s efforts.

1. Luke Evans – Immortals (2011)

A flaming whip and solid gold bow and arrow are formidable weapons for any crazed God to wield. Let alone an enraged and defied Zeus. This latest interpretation of Zeus comes from the minds that brought us 300 and the film’s styling is extremely familiar. Perhaps a little too familiar. Does Evans make a worthy Zeus? Take a look for yourself…

2. Liam Neeson – Clash of the Titans (2010)

Neeson may have had a tough time recently, but his decision to play any part in this dire 2010 disaster of a remake is nigh on unforgivable. The film might be terrible but as we sit huddled on the sofa, weeping over the unsightly mess of it all, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that Liam Neeson plays the God of all Gods. Here he is in all his lank, grey-haired glory playing alongside his unsightly pet. “Unleash the Kraken!”

3. Sean Bean – Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

A shameless attempt by movie producers to emulate the success of a certain well-known movie franchise involving a small boy with an unimpressive name and exterior, but who possesses some uncanny supernatural powers which leave him outcast and confused.

That is until faithful friends come to the rescue, he becomes a hero etc. Sean Bean plays Zeus and Percy has to find his missing thunder bolt. Zeus becoming forgetful and senile? Watch out for the next instalment: Percy Jackson and the Quest for a Reasonably Priced Retirement Home.

4. Hulk Hogan – Little Hercules in 3D (2009)

We at OTB have been utterly confounded by this trailer. Was this a genuine film? Apparently so. Amateur camera work and outrageous script aside, this unlikely film produces possibly the best casting for Zeus EVER.

Hulk Hogan. Wearing a robe. With full beard. As God of everything. Enjoy…

5. Rip Torn – Disney’s Hercules (2007)

This 2007 Disney animation was actually pretty funny and featured the vocal talent of Rip Torn (best name ever?) as Zeus. Perhaps one of the friendlier interpretations of this bolt-wielding Greek God but at least he has a suitably thunderous voice and curly hair. His crib looks pretty impressive too, as this fantastical introduction to the animated Zeus proves…

5.Laurence Olivier – Clash of the Titans (1981)

Featuring some epic special effects, this 1981 spectacular has everything you want from an adventure film – including a young Maggie Smith. Laurence Olivier stars as the enraged Zeus and spends much of his time pacing about causing death and destruction using clay voodoo dolls and the power of his vast mind. Watch out for the 80s incarnation of the dirty ol’ Kraken hell bent on drowning innocent civilians. God, he’s evil.

6. Niall McGinnis – Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

McGinnis plays his suave Zeus as a true English gent – the James Bond of the mythological world. But shaken or stirred are to things that this Zeus will never be, not on McGinnis’ watch. Decked in gold and striding about his palatial home in the sky, playing the occasional game of giant chess he is disturbed only by a teeny weeny Jason who wants a bit of help. A masterful performance.