It might be a slightly depressing thought, but that bloke who once said that there was no such thing as genuine originality was probably right. Sparticus paved the way for some other film, which inspired Braveheart, which in turn formed the template for Gladiator (and several other modern epics to boot..) – but such is the nature of the movie business. And besides, if we keep getting awesome films out of this great cycle then what’s the problem? We’re looking forward to The Eagle as much as the next bunch of sword and sandal-loving cinema-goers, but while we were watching the trailer, we realised that it bore more than just a passing resemblence to it’s Roman predecessor starring Russell Crowe..
To create a successful Roman actioner, first you need an enticing prologue. This is a staple for any historical epic, for best results use exactly the same font as Ridley Scott. He knew what he was doing..
Then get yourself a hero. A nice hero with honourable intentions. Make these intentions clear by showing him having a little prayer before the action gets going. Preferably in a room with very little lighting and referencing various family members..
For extra effect, always give the bloke a little figurine to cherish. For best results make it a small model of the thing that the film is all about…
Make sure you highlight the fact that your leading hunk is a general of some note (and as hard as he is dashing..)
Always bring in an old English dude to offer advice. Make sure this mentor is grey. Grey = wise/just.
Have your dude captured and turned into a slave and hey presto! The rest will pretty much write itself…