When Hollywood gets in the way of a perfectly good myth
April 13th, 2012
03:40 PM ET

When Hollywood gets in the way of a perfectly good myth

Editor's note: Aaron Sagers is a New York-based entertainment writer and nationally syndicated pop-culture columnist. He has specialty knowledge in "paranormal pop culture," has lectured at conventions nationwide on the topic and is a media pundit on supernatural entertainment. He covers pop culture daily at ParanormalPopCulture.com and can be found on Twitter @aaronsagers.

Remember how the half-god Perseus flew on the winged horse Pegasus to save Andromeda from Hades’ Kraken, and then later battled the chimera, minotaur and titan Kronos? If your basis for Greek mythology is the 2010 “Clash of the Titans” remake and the new sequel “Wrath of the Titans,” that’s how you might remember the pursuits of Perseus. But that’s not how it happened.

Right, so technically none of it “happened,” but the Greek myths of titans, gods and men that have existed for more than three millennia are the stuff of ancient religion and part of our pop culture pantheon. Many myth geeks like me were exposed to the tales – which live at an intersection of history and storytelling – at an early age when we craved adventures about monsters, violence and valor (and were exposed to, incidentally, sex, betrayal and heinous acts).

Personally, I remember seeing the original 1981 version of “Clash of the Titans” with the Ray Harryhausen visual effects when I was about 4 years old. While not so much obsessed with Harry Hamlin as Perseus, I couldn’t get enough of the Medusa the Gorgon, the Kraken and Pegasus.

I even had a few of the action figures from Mattel’s very limited toy line that never took off. But more than the winged horse toy whose wings kept falling off, my prized post-“Clash” possession was a tattered 1957 copy of W.H.D. Rouse’s “Gods, Heroes and Men of Ancient Greece” that was kicking around my house for some reason.

Written in a spry tone I’d later associate with John Hurt in “The Storyteller,” Rouse’s book became a preferred storybook for me. Along with dinosaurs, animals and super heroes, I memorized and categorized the names of the major and minor players of myths. Although the stories themselves didn’t change as I grew older, the way they were told and interpreted did.

And then I saw the “Clash” remake in 2010. Though I tried to keep it in check, my nerd rage began to boil over.

More so than in the original, this version took pretty exceptional liberties with the Greek myths (and the original wasn’t totally faithful either). Perseus’ mom Danae is now Acrisius’ wife, not daughter? Hades killed Perseus’ adoptive father and controls the Kraken? Zeus gives Perseus his sword, and is then punked by Hades and needs human help? Perseus bails on marrying Andromeda?

What happened there? It was like the screenwriters hadn’t even read the myths and simply co-opted a hodgepodge of stories with mixed-and-matched familiar-sounding names to create an origin-story flick where the bad guy from the beginning is responsible for creating the hero that will destroy him. Yep, that’s exactly what happened.

And the liberal alteration of mythology continues in “Wrath of the Titans,” when Perseus hops back on Pegasus to cozy up to Andromeda and get an assist from Hephaestus to stop Hades and Ares (who had already killed Poseidon because gods can die) from sacrificing Zeus to the recharged Kronos. That’s in addition to the aforementioned battles with the minotaur, chimera and big-daddy titan.

Okay so let’s put aside the matter that Hades –- who was never all that evil in myth - actually aided his nephew Perseus in defeating the Gorgon by loaning him the Helm of Darkness. We’ll also forget that Perseus wore Hermes’ winged shoes instead of riding Pegasus and that the Kraken was actually Poseidon’s beast the cetus – and that Theseus defeated the minotaur and Bellerophon took out the chimera (while riding Pegasus).

I should just ignore the mythological alterations in these movies as well as “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” Disney’s “Hercules,” the Percy Jackson franchise and others, right? These changes should simply be chalked up to Hollywood rewrites for smoother storytelling?

Then it also shouldn’t be a big deal to make Spidey’s webshooters organic and have Greedo shoot first?

These myths are the focus not just of much academic study, but are tales that inspire imaginations and dedicated passion in some people.

To significantly alter them is to toy with the source material many of us came to love in our childhood. And lest we forget, they are also at the core of a religion – one that is still being worshipped by Hellenists. I can’t help but speculate about the ensuing outrage if a movie about Jesus was released where he decided to team up with the three Wise Men and his Uncle Moses to kick some butt in ancient Rome.

Then again, maybe the flip side is that, by watching movies like the “Clash” remake, people will be inspired to pursue that source material and read the correct versions of the stories - much like the original “Clash of the Titans” prompted me to discover Rouse’s book and begin the transition into a mythology geek.

But that may be as likely as Sisyphus getting that boulder to stay on top of the hill in Hades. It could happen (and Sisyphus did get a break when Orpheus visited the underworld), but my concern is that, after enough changes, the stories themselves might begin to change.

Myths that lasted for millennia may not withstand a century or so of cinema.

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  6. nerdrageboilingover

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    April 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  7. Rob

    Did you flip out when GOD OF WAR 1 2 3 turned every myth on its head too? Seriously relax its a movie , the important thing is that you enjoyed it. Yes some changes were made to the material but this stuff happens in many forms of media. Mangas have different characters die off then in there Anime counterparts. Books and movies are no different. This movie was made to feel huge and exciting, let it be.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  8. Grumpster

    The whole of Hollywierd has ADHD and couldn't finish a comic book, much less complex Greek mythology. The same goes for the moviegoing public who simply clamor to theaters for anything that flashes brightly and goes boom...and maybe shows a boob or two.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  9. truefax

    Greek myths are as fictional as the bible, why does it matter if somone "messes around" with them? The greeks were as faithful to their tripe as most are to our own, there's nothing wrong with it, it's part of the human condition. We need to all need are driven to eat and screw, we're also driven to seek comfort and when there's no one around to provide it we make them up.

    That's just how we are, live it, love it and don't try and force your personal fairy tale on others.

    April 17, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • truefax

      "We need to all need are driven to eat and screw, " = bad editing I had to cut out some words to make it past the filter and didn't reread my post. Does this mean I'm qualified to write for cnn?

      April 17, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  10. Jeremy

    That article was very difficult to read and follow.

    April 17, 2012 at 5:53 am |
  11. bernie

    here's what every hollywood article shouldbe "why does hollywood suck? "

    April 17, 2012 at 12:25 am |
  12. cpomatto

    Ok I love watching movies, but anything Hollywood puts out there is make believe. It was just a movie for entertainment it wasn't meant to be a learning tool. It was meant to be a 2 hour break from reality. Get over it!!

    April 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  13. Yakobi

    Next you'll be telling me that god-awful movie "JFK" was onto something.

    The real crime isn't the Hollywood screenwriters who know nothing about history or mythology, but with the American youth who get their information from popular movies rather than books.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  14. Pete

    Probably if the script writers had simply copied the original myths as recorded in some 17th century translated anthology, the studio execs would have said "What am I paying you guys millions of dollars for?"

    April 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  15. Son of a Sith

    So, Darth Vader is still Luke's father, right?

    April 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  16. hypatia

    Hollywood changes stories?? OMG I'm so shocked! *yawn*

    April 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  17. Arch

    I don't necessarily mind that people alter myths to suit a particular story or point you're trying to make, but make those changes for a reason. You could make a thousand action movies based on Greek mythology without making any drastic changes to the basic storyline. There is a reason that those stories have survived and been retold for thousands of years. It's a little bit like some lazy Hollywood hack thinking they are going to "improve" Shakespeare by adding a bunch of profanity or suddenly making Romeo a robot, or whatever. If you're going to make changes, they should make some kind of sense.

    April 16, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  18. JMO

    Butchering myths is the least of Hollywood's. How about when Mel Gibson combined two battles into one in Vietnam in "We were Soldiers", and added one that never happened in "The Patriot"?

    April 16, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  19. Renait1

    Couldn't agree more. If they can't get the original even close to right, then make up something entirely new. Just don't give me s*** and call it chocolate ice cream.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  20. sayitso

    The moral of this article being ... don't cite Hollywood flicks in your historical studies? (or Wikipedia for that matter) ... or the utter lack of imagination in Hollywood? Either way it's mindless entertainment (like most of our diversions these days).

    April 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  21. Jordi Heguilor

    The author of this article misses the biggest mistake of all: the Kraken belongs to Nordic mythology, not Greek. It's like including Kwan Yin among the Olympians.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • sam

      "the Kraken was actually Poseidon’s beast the cetus"

      I had to read it twice to overcome the missing comma, but it's in there.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  22. sjenner

    It's awesome that whenever there's an article on the ancient world, it's beliefs and practices, out come the droves of five-dime atheists making the same witty quip: "Myths just like the Jesus Myth." I certainly have no objection to atheists. Logical challenge and questioning are great and necessary. But if you can't tell the difference between Jesus and the legends of Perseus, how do you earn any credibility? There are about as many contemporary and near-contemporary sources supporting the historical existence, ministry and execution of Jesus, and the existence of his apostles, as there are for Alexander the Great. But funny how no one questions the existence of Alexander and his generals, even with Alexander's divine birth and all the demi-god stuff in the literary sources. Perseus, by contrast, is a truly mythological character, invented to explain the existence of certain peoples, events and phenomena. This isn't to cheapen the myth. It explains vital aspects of ancient society and culture. But to say their the same thing is just ignorant.

    April 15, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • hironabokov

      but the point wasn't to say jesus didn't exist. he said that people still worship the gods like they still worship Jesus and that if the same liberties were taken with him, there'd be more vocal opposition. Jesus was a real guy but not all of his acts are historically verified (miracles and such).

      April 15, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • sjenner

      hironabokov, I was ambiguous in my reference. I wasn't reacting to the main article, but to the many posts below. As for the ancient myths and legends, I don't believe it has a direct correlation to the New Testament. The ancient Greeks and Romans themselves borrowed liberally from their own legends, as Ovid's Metamorphosis testifies. Clearly, this is not something done in either the Jewish or Christian traditions (although the hagiographies of the saints does have some parallels).

      April 15, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • chris lee

        You overlook the fact that the Jesus story borrows extensively from previous myths. Virtually everything ascribed to Jesus' life, from the divine birth to the wise men to Lazarus to the crucifixion and ressurection, are pulled from Egyptian, Greek, Assyrian and Aryan myths that predate Jesus by hundreds and even thousands of years. Couple that with the "missing years" and the grave discrepancies between accounts and you have yourself a myth. A myth is a myth is a myth, no matter how many people try to capitalize on it after the fact.

        April 15, 2012 at 11:44 am |
      • sjenner

        Interesting point Chris Lee....

        April 15, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • athos

      Jesus loves me this I know
      For Mitt Romney tells me so. . .

      April 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
      • HollywoodPR

        Athos, do you always steal your quotes from South Park?

        April 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
      • Aramis

        Getting accurate knowledge of good religious doctrine from politics is about as likely as getting accurate history and mythology from Hollywood...

        April 16, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Jordi Heguilor

      Hmmm... could you name three contemporary sources confirming the existance of Jesus? On the other hand, I have with me a silver tetradrachma with Alexander's face on one side, Athena on the reverse, coined during his reign. One of the tens of thousands of coins minted during his life.

      What is your proof? A "nail from the cross" kept at the Vatican?

      April 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
      • Saidperson

        numerous non-biblical sources including noted historians of the time period.

        Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56-120 AD) and Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 AD) to name two.

        Also worth noting that Jesus was not a "ruler" and gave most of his emphasis toward God. It would have gone against who he was to have coins created to commemorate him.

        http://www.ucg.org/booklet/jesus-christ-real-story/did-jesus-really-die-and-live-again/do-other-nonbiblical-sources-con/

        April 16, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  23. HollywoodDebunksGod

    The conclusion of your article is summarized within your last sentence which is somewhat detached from the rest of the article because it speaks to a new issue that you failed to address.

    But – that statement was seen for what it is – a threat to all religions in the United States by filmmakers in Hollywood, CA. And this is why I will never practice law in that state. The arrogance is unimaginable. The value of the opinion many topics that comes out of that city is not remarkable in any way and Hollywood should take time to reflect on their own personal conduct before setting a path of destruction against all religious beliefs in the United States.

    I object.

    April 15, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Arch

      What?

      April 16, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  24. aronnyc

    Retelling Greek mythology isn't new, not even for the ancient Greek tragedians. Many of them played around with the source material, and that's only from what little we still have now. Who knows what other retellings were going on from what's been lost.

    April 15, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  25. Saber

    Yeah, the Moron who wrote this article is the type of person who you DON'T go to the movies with. They're the type who want to narrate the film for everyone in the audience. To the article writer: The next time you are in the theater making comment, that 32oz. Soda that hit you in the back of the head; yeah that's me telling you to shut up or leave! Nuff Said!

    April 15, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Jake

      don't the writer ever said he narrated in a movie or that he didn't enjoy the movies. I love people like you who respond to something they disagree with (or likely don't understand the argument of) resort to just being a jerk. Besides i think it's fun to analyze this stuff. What's wrong with having conversations about movies? it's sure better than just being gloomy all the time.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  26. bird

    what the frig is this jackwagon talking about?? They're myths!!! never true from day one. if someone wants to re-tall then differently so what??? it's FICTION. it's not like they are re-telling the battle of Gettysburg, or some other factual event. Maybe changing the story allows it to live longer and be passed on to more generations than if it were left to the original telling.....

    April 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • mb2010a

      Sorta like the Bible and it's many rewrites through the centuries...

      April 15, 2012 at 8:40 am |
      • Brandon

        Thanks for bringing the Bible thing up. That comment really contributed to this discussion and was related to the original topic in EVERY way. In fact, you probably just converted 14 Christians to atheists with that comment

        Now we get to debate religion on here now! We almost never do that! I am sure we will all reach a conclusion at some point in the discussion and than we won't ever have to talk about it again! Am I right?

        April 15, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • JoePub

        Funny that these "rewrites" are actually worded exactly the same after all these years. The Dead Sea scrolls prove that.

        April 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • CanoodlinCanuck

      I dunno, I'd be ticked if every new movie about a book or character I love really altered the stories. That's the same thing here. People got so ticked off at George Lucas for creating a lousy back story for his myths. Think how much more they'd be upset if he was like, "Yeah, darth isn't really Luke's father now but is Hans." NErdz would go nuts. This kinda fits in the same argument. They're not just tweaking this myths but doing major overhalls – the exception is these stories are a lot older.

      April 15, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  27. pastmorm

    Whoever wrote this article needs to chill! Of course it's not accurate to Greek Legend, but those legends were passed down to us so how much of them do we really know to be true? On top of that, it's like the Jesus myth...we only know about that guy from something a bunch of men wrote about years after this supposed Jesus died. So what do we do with myth? We take what we want from it and move on to make more and more myths to explain our lives on this earth.

    April 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      I think the issue is more that they're sanitizing the myths and altering them to fit in the studio-approved structure of "Hero vs. Bad Guy".

      The actual characters of legend are far richer and much more complex. They're not pure good or pure evil; in other words, they're human. For some reason, studio executives forget that the reason these myths have survived so long is due to their ability to tap into the human condition. They don't need to edit the stories in order to make them "accessible".

      April 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • burnout

      So we should basically just always suck up whatever movies and entertainment give us and never look at anything deeper than the surface?

      April 15, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  28. mafia.7777@yahoo.com

    the myths of today were the religion of yesterday.....

    April 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Alabama Al

      God, that's profound.

      April 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
      • bird

        would be better to say the religion of today is the myths of yesterday

        April 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  29. fishy2578

    Walt Disney ruined the fairy tales. The originals shouldn't be filmed, anyway, because the children benefit from and are rarely scared by forming their own pictures and shouldn't be subjected to those of adults trying to scare them. The stories from the past have value, while those from Hollywood are just nonsense.

    April 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  30. Lemme get this straight

    My memory is a little muddled, but it's clear from my Hollywood education that Zeus gave Thor his power by birth and
    Medusa's head could spin around like Linda Blair; Genghis Khan and his men almost killed the Avengers, but the
    Mutant Ninja Turtles made a pact with Iron Man and Bat Man to save the day. Oh wot the hell- these super heroes are
    all the same.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Lemme get this straight

      Hollywood prop rocks always look so clean; my rocks are a lot dirtier.

      April 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • bird

        stopping BS'ing and wash your balls dude

        April 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
      • Lemme get this straight

        You're at an advantage to notice the need for cleaning, after being the balls had been
        in close proximity to your face-thanks.

        April 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  31. MOCaseA

    So basically this is Hollywood being Hollywood. They don't care about truth or accuracy, just sales. And so do the people who support this drivel. Go and buy a book, it's better than the movies and you might learn something!

    April 14, 2012 at 3:29 am |
  32. Raz

    Well the Greek Myths really weren't that consistent to begin with.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • Nathan

      It's so true they were not but I don't think they ever got this far offtrack...

      April 14, 2012 at 3:02 am |
  33. ptsdLOADING

    The funny thing is that when I made the comment after the 2010 movie about how Hollywood altered what I had studied on Greek Mythology, people were just satisfied with the action and didn't really care about what was learned from in depth study. Which proves to me that people readily grasp fiction when fact doesn't suit them.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  34. J.C. Towler

    Funny enough, I just finished watching Immortals and thought how misled a younger generation might well be. Theseus' actual stories were amusing enough and plenty of opportunity for bloody fight scenes. The "real" Theseus makes for a more interesting character, being considerably flawed, in contrast to the saccharine do-gooder of the film.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:22 am |
  35. JA

    I dunno...I'd be interested in seeing a movie about superhero Jesus and the Wise Men.

    April 14, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  36. Dave

    When is the release of Barack Obama's "I and Michelle killed 1 Billion Whites"? Truth is better than these movies.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • lowkey424

      Ha ha ha...WHAT?!

      April 14, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Mark

      really? i'm white, i don't get it.

      April 14, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • JA

      0/10

      Dude, you're not even trying.

      April 14, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Mark

      LOL...if your bitter, hateful, and so obsessed you post your drivel here, wait till eh wins another term ;)

      April 14, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • bird

      give that fool another 4 years and it will be 3 billion whites.........

      April 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • JordanB

      Why do they let racist crap like this get posted? You are an imbecile if you think posting this nonsense is going to have any effect whatsoever. All the other racists already agree with you, and the normal people just think you are a kook. Buzz off.

      April 15, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  37. Harry

    "Immortals" was another one that stomped all over mythology. That movie was horrible, way worse than the films mentioned in this article.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • LeighVA

      I'm glad I didn't see it then.

      April 14, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Anonogeek

      Yea! And I totally hate how Independence Day shows aliens with large, extended, flat heads! I mean, in history, they all have big eyes and large, but ROUND heads!!! How DARE they change something like that?!?!? And Alien Resurrection?? Making the Alien at the end sound human???? HOW DARE THEY. Keep fiction fictionally correct!!!! Oh, and the Lugians AREN'T from Dereth, Linvak Tuval is just a temporary home for them!!!!!

      April 14, 2012 at 1:21 am |
      • James Foley

        Clearly a superhero jesus is needed. Sandals Pffft. A mortal manh crucified on a stake. Pffft. Seen it.

        April 14, 2012 at 1:52 am |
      • Ear's to ya

        The writers felt that they had to relate to Will Smith's large extended ears some way.

        April 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  38. LeighVA

    Hollywood perverts everything basically. So what else is new? The thing is to educate yourself on various topics and be able to decipher what is truth as it applies to previous works (or history) and what isn't before going to see a movie. That way you don't run around making a TOTAL rube of yourself when someone brings up a topic about Mozart and you say at some social get together, for example, 'Mozart was the dirty, little perv, wasn't he?' lol (Amadeus) When in reality, according to history, he was nothing of the sort.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  39. MashaSobaka

    Adaptations don't actually harm the integrity of the original. Myths will persist as long as they exist in books. This Hollywood crap will be forgotten within a generation. There is a reason why myths are timeless.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  40. Marcus Sr

    Something weird is happening with this post so I,m trying to do it again. I always thought of myths as the best story that made it into print. Especially after reading the stuff on the Internet that some people actually believed happened in real life. I am watching ancient aliens on the history channel and the commentators talk like they have concrete proof that ancient aliens actually visited the earth and taught the natives how to build the pyramids. They keep referring to "ancient astronaut theorists" who believe that beings from outer space were the examples for the gods the ancient people worshiped. At another time, say, last year, those "ancient astronaut theorists" would be called nuts. But when you look at the ruins at Puma Punku, and listen to the legends of the people there, maybe some of those ancient aliens theorists are on to something. Maybe that galaxy long, long ago, wasn't so far away. You have to take some notice when the stones of some ancient buildings are dated to 70,000 years ago, but modern humans date back to only 13,000 years ago. I also read, "on the Internet" that if you consider leap years, the Mayan calendar which calls for the destruction of the world as we know it, actually ocurred seven months ago. Wait till Hollywood figures this out.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  41. X

    I always say: These movies are made for teens by teens. Mithology must be respected. And right.... why always Hades is the bad guy...for the ones who knows mith, Hades was/is not bad at all, in fact he was the most fair of all gods, and not to be associated with death...Thanatos is the god of death..Hades should be respected as Posseidon and Zeus, the main 3 out of 6 offsprings of Chronos.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      Even gods who are associated with death aren't necessarily evil. Look at Anubis from Egyptian mythology. Where would anyone be without him?

      April 14, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • The youngest generation

      Teens are too busy talking and texting during the show to notice even if the did know the tale in its original form... which is highly doubtful in the first place.

      April 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  42. boo-effin-hoo

    Cry a river man ... because its not like these stories ever came from embellishing or remaking old stories. Even in Greek culture these stories were told and retold with changing characters and relationships. Thats just how its is .. booooooooooo hoooooooooooo deal with it

    April 13, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • X

      u deal with and stay on ignorance status

      April 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  43. Marcus Sr

    I always thought myths as the best story that made it into print. Especially after reading the stuff on the Internet that some people actually believed happened in real life. I am watching ancient aliens on the history channel and the commentators talk like they have concrete proof that ancient aliens actually visited the earth and taught the natives how to build the pyramids. They keep referring to "ancient astronaut theorists" who believe that beings from outer space were the examples for the gods the ancient people worshiped. At another time, say, last year, those "ancient astronaut theorists" would be called nuts. But when you look at the ruins at Puma Punku, and listen to the legends of the people there, maybe some of those ancient aliens theorists are on to something. Maybe that galaxy long, long ago, wasn't so far away. You have to take some notice when the stones of some ancient buildings are dated to 70,000 years ago, but modern humans date back to only 13,000 years ago. I also read, "on the Internet" that if you consider leap years, the Mayan calendar which calls for the destruction of the world as we know it, actually ocurred seven months ago. Wait till Hollywood figures this out.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  44. LouAz

    Oh no . . . you mean Charlton Heston wasn't really Moses ? I want all my money back from that phony Italian Church !

    April 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  45. Hadenuffyet

    Not only this genre , but wth did they do to 21 Jump Street , along with Dark Shadows. They're nothing akin to the originals.
    Just goes to show some have more money than sense...

    April 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  46. Dirk Digler

    Terrible movie, needs more personality and maybe some girl on girl.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • GOG

      girl on girl? gay much?

      April 14, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  47. Greg

    Oh wow, another article trashing a remake, when is THAT going to stop!?

    April 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Me

      the most simple answer is when Hollywood stops making remakes. All they are doing is taking a previous movie and changing the story a bit and putting their name on it. If I did that in school I'd have been given an F...

      April 14, 2012 at 2:53 am |
  48. sjenner

    As a Classics major and yes, geek, I was pretty put out by the second half of Gladiator. But then I saw the impact that movie, which played quite liberally with Roman history, had on public discourse and interest. Even if these movies are trite nonsense, they keep the core legends alive. Perseus is at least still current, as are the Olympian gods. And should anyone have an interest in reading more, bonus.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  49. DavidC

    Take it easy, they're just trashy action films. Who cares if they took some liberties with the myths.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  50. Steven Colo

    I was pertty hacked off at how Disney had bollixed up Hercules. But then I remembered that the Hercules myth itself had changed. Originally, Hercules was a simple bully. Over time, his murders were attributed to madness induced by Hera instead of simple murderous rage. Similarly, Pan was originally a woodland/forest deity that was awkwardly joined into the Greco-Roman Olympic deities that clearly represented an urban population, and then he was morphed into a representation of The Devil.

    Myths are not static.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Apollodorosh

      Many Gods have both rustic and urban aspects to them. Pán is not at all a misfit in the Pantheon. Neither did Hellenes ever made him into a "devil". The Hellenic worldview does not support the existence of an "absolutely evil". His shape was just used for the devil by the Galilaeans (Christians) in an attemt to demonise the native religion of Hellas.

      April 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  51. TAK

    "Myths that lasted for millennia may not withstand a century or so of cinema."

    Oh, how I wish this was true of the judeo-christian myths...

    April 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Mick

      Cinema doesn't destroy those myths, it just puts a new twist on them. It's amazing how many people these days get their concept of the ten commandments from the Charleton Heston movie. If they read Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, etc, they would see that the original fiction bears no resemblance to the Hollywood version, and is far crazier than anything the most demented screenwriter could come up with.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • tony

      Nice one!

      April 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Ruby

      It is.

      April 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  52. Biggs

    Nerd...

    April 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • BARRYYY

      u rok my sox u lepur

      October 17, 2012 at 4:19 am |
  53. Tyer

    Really. If we were ding a story on JFK ad his assassination I would then be concerned about accuracy. But this is Mythology and its been made into stories many many times. I liked both movies and enjoyed watching them both. So go and play with your self and read what you think is the accurate account of mythology.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • tony

      Only the names were kept to protect the screenwriters.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  54. Mbane

    In a few months no one will remember this movie, just like no one remembers most of the garbage that comes out of Hollywood. Greek Mythology will be safe with the minority that chooses to educate themselves, which is a rare thing these days.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • BHH

      ^^^^^ THIS. Seriously.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  55. pavv

    Stories have always been altered to appeal to contemporary societies, it's just the way it's done. It's similar to a "consumer-demand" concept, so lets not go crazy over myths been deliberately modified to fit contemporary liking

    April 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  56. DrJStrangepork

    sorry that the fictional story made up a long time ago is being altered into another fictional story. that can ruin anybody's day.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Kat

      If I called the Bible a "fictional story that was made up a long time ago," would it bother you? Unlike most people who may say something like that, you literally just read an article that mentions the people who worship the Greek gods today. Mythology and fiction are not the same thing.
      Also, Greek Mythology is still a huge part of education today. In Middle school, high school, and college, we read about the myths and also Greek epic poems and plays. It's just as important that we not destroy that as it is we don't destroy Shakespeare.

      April 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
      • Timetowinialwayswin

        Kat.... I've seen dozens of your posts calling biblical texts myths and insulting christians...

        April 14, 2012 at 1:43 am |
      • correct

        the stories of the far older (greek) religion are no less valid than the stories in the bible – in fact, i would say the ancient greek tales are more valid. people should show some respect when it comes to others' beliefs. the greeks were here first and the religion is still practiced. people should recognise this. aren't we meant to be a "respectful, tolerant, multicultural and open-minded society" or something? if this keeps up then i agree with the writer of the article; someone should make a move about jesus hunting lepers in order to save mary magdalene from the evil angel gabriel.

        April 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  57. The Dude

    In the long term, the swill Hollywood is producing will never last the test of time. Greek mythology is safe me thinks.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  58. JT

    It is kind of a shame. The original Clash film may have taken some liberties but it was absolutely made in the spirit and tradition of the mythology it drew from. The current movies were made in the spirit of Michael Bay... Big explosion! Zippy camera! LOUD NOISES! Whoosh! BAM! Credits. It is completely disposable, whereas I can still view the original and enjoy it for the story and characters. Ah well, whadareyagonnado?

    April 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Arjuma

      obama wants the obama wants the dollar to tank and then the libs will have more cortonl of the sheeple,you just keep believing that change is coming,it is but you aren't going to like it when the unemployment hits 25% and your cost of living skyrockets beyond what you can afford. The elderly better start finding somewhere besides America,where your benefits are going away,but you will have third world healthcare and socialism,its coming and the middle class and poor will pay. Good luck with hope & change,morons

      September 12, 2012 at 6:52 am |
      • J.C.

        When the voices in the head are louder than the voices actually speaking to you, it's time to get help. What conversation were you participating in?

        September 12, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  59. suibne

    You must be kidding. The History Channel has been re writing history. The weather channel writes fictional weather. SyFy (whatever the hell that means) has a black Guennivere. Current is an outright socialist propaganda outlet, and you just noticed that Hollywood ruins perfectly good material Are you related to Perseus or something? I am.
    suibne

    April 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
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      July 3, 2012 at 1:10 am |
  60. Emiliano C

    If you think it can get you some cash in the movie world, then youdistort anything, especialy the truth, so that it becomes interesting. not saying that the old myths weren't interesting, but thats just how hollywood works. it's sad really.

    April 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  61. Jim Stanek

    This guy has no clue what he's talking about. Romantic and Victorian poets frequently messed with the old Greek and Roman myths, and the original myths stayed intact, thanks to LIBRARIES.

    It's not as if anyone is burning or editing the old books. Kids these days dont read enough of the classics anyway, but you can still find Ovid and Virgil in Barnes and Nobles.

    What a lame attempt at news!

    April 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  62. HumeSaves

    Mel did a poor job with the 'Passion of the Christ.'

    April 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  63. Craig

    It's not limited to myths. Look at what Michael Bay did to Pearl Harbor. No, I'm not talking about the love story, or the idea that fighter pilots suddenly become bomber pilots. There are real0life compelling characters in the pre-attack sequences who would have been valuable to the plot line, but Bay tossed those folks aside and created new, ridiculous characters, stealing a bit here and there, while ignoring truths that would have made the build up to the attack much more realistic. None of that made any sense, and it seemed the writers just plucked a bunch of cardboard stand-ups from central casting. The funny part was more people were likely to know the true story there...and yet he did it anyway.

    April 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  64. Truth

    I felt the same way about The Passion of the Christ!

    April 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  65. Doug

    Hey don't we watch movies to be entertained? As for the Bible you have never watched any Kevin Smith movies...When you watch a movie about mythical beings, some of it may be changed to make the story better. If you want facts go to the library and stay in the non-fiction section.

    April 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Apollodorosh

      So you think what they did to the myths in these movies mentioned in the article actually made those films *better*?

      April 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  66. Azino

    You think this distorts mythology? Play the God of War series which introduced a completely original character with a knack for killing people bigger than him. Fantastic games but it takes some real liberties with Greek mythology. I wouldn't want it any other way. It's like me getting mad about Michael Bay changing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' origin story, it's pointless.

    April 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  67. Too Young

    Yeah, too much inaccuracy can warp the original myths on any story or tale. Par for course in Hollywood.
    It happens in movies made from novels. It's some director thinking what will be entertaining given the time constraints
    of a film length. As a kid, the heroes and myth were all a blur, but the vividness was due to Ray Harryhausen's
    stop action work. It helps to visualize it later in high school.

    April 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Technically...

      Myths are warped by definition.

      April 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  68. Wookie

    Painful bad, to many reference to Christianity, not that has anything to do with the original myth

    April 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  69. phearis

    Sorry but anyone who thinks History or Facts come out of Hollywood movies, is just a flippin moron.

    April 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  70. MISSYK

    The Percy Jackson books were pretty "accurate" to the ancient myths. I there's a better word than "accurate" to describwe it, I just can't think of it right now. The movie did however stink, if you liked the books. Lots of changes between the book and movie character/plot/script. Although the sound track was pretty good. A friend told me the author intentionally let the directors change alot for the movie so there wouldn't be an easy way to do movies with the rest of the series. Anyone else hear that???

    April 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Emiliano C

      Thank god i wasn't the only one who noticed. i was starting to build nerd rage at the movie, and how very innacurate that was.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  71. Bob

    When Hollywood gets in the way of a perfectly good myth I stay away from the movie theaters.

    April 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  72. Seth

    I want to see that Jesus battling Romans movie now. I recommend they name it AXE of the APOSTLES!

    April 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • MISSYK

      I want to see that!

      April 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      Me too... but Jesus should be a zombie since he rose from the dead and he's leading his horde of undead warriors against the forces of Spartacus.

      April 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
      • Kat

        Actuallu, Jesus was not a Zombie. A zombie is simply a reanimated corpse with no actual soul. Jesus was a litch, which is a creature that is sacrificed and then binds its soul to the corpse to gain immortality. That's much closer.

        April 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Jack West

      You may get your chance. The author of Abraham Lincoln vampire killer has written a new book that's already been bought up by Warners that has the Three Wise Men betraying Herod, hooking up with the Holy Family to get them to Egypt while Herod's army is in full pursuit. They also enlist the aid of John the Baptist(?) which is time alternating but who the hell cares!

      April 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  73. I would pay..

    I think I would pay to see Jesus in spandex and a cape (of many colors!), walking on water, and making blind men see :)

    April 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  74. Birch please

    eg PASSION OF THE CHRIST

    April 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • David

      Actually Passion of the Christ is about as close to original telling as any film portrayal of a biblical narrative.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
      • phearis

        ~giggle~ Yeah ...... You keep thinking that.

        April 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
      • DocCutty

        phearis, ya sure you're not letting your feelings about Mel get in the way?

        April 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  75. Indy44

    Nostalgia is a mixed message. Look at how vicious some of the sw fans have been to gwl. We glamorize the past and down play todays major contributions to the sci-fi spectical.

    April 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  76. Mark Borok

    The original "Clash" took liberties, but it showed a real love of the Greek myths and what it added was entirely in the spirit of the ancient Greeks. Zeus cursing Calibos for killing his winged horses was entirely in character, as was the rivalry among the gods. Perseus having to answer a riddle to win the hand of Andromda and risking death if he fails is a time-honored fairy tale trope. Most importantly, the original had the spirit of adventure and fun that we get from those stories, while the remake went for the "dark and gritty" approach, which is made worse by the fact that it is now a fad in every movie, whether or not it is appropriate.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  77. orion7x

    Just too danged nitpicky..... Enjoy the art instead of matching word for word!

    April 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Sarah

      Somebody who obviously didn't read the article is complaining about others being "nit-pitcky" over media contents. Why am I not surprised?

      April 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  78. Raoul Duke, Jr.

    The Ten Commandments, Greatest Story Ever Told, The Passion of Chist, even Ben Hur, all based on the myths of late Bronze Age middle eastern tribesmen. It's not just the myths of ancient Greeks that Hollywood f9485*& s up, it's the myths of the bible as well. Let's call it like it is. BTW Happy Birthday Chis Hitchens. Here's a scotch on me!

    April 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • schmuzz

      good to know...i will raise a glass of scotch myself....
      thanks for telling me it's his birthday

      April 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  79. jj

    I'd guess these stories, like Bible stories, changed with each telling. At some point, they are written down 'in stone', as the true story. Like script writers do, without the history and attachment to the original stories, that they know or care little about. The handful of American viewers who actually know the family tree is so miniscule, they can rewrite the whole story with few complaints.
    I understand the writer's angst, and feel it with things I'm actually familiar with – even with classic movie remakes that are modern hacks. It's like someone wrote below – lowest common denominator, anything for a buck.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  80. Boisepoet

    The myths are already changing. In the beginning the mythical god/man/zombie Jesus was a champion for the poor and downtrodden. Now that kind of concern is derisively called socialism and gets you labels such as 'food stamp president', while the recipients are labeled as losers and welfare scammers.

    Now apparently, Jesus advocates for lower taxes for millionaires and believes that his disciples need jets and 10,000 seat arenas to earn salvation.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Ty

      Honestly, this is one of the smartest things I've ever read on the internet. You, sir, win an internet cookie for wisdom and valor.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Ola

      Wow. So funny,so sad and so true.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
      • Gue

        It is plain to see It is plain to see that the President's plan to create a paahtwy for illegals to become citizens mean amnesty. See Barry Artiste Op/Ed on Obama's Plan S-9 Amnesty Bill .where .1. Illegal aliens given legal status just 24 hours after filing even though background check will not have been completed in nearly all cases2. Aliens will pay no back taxes3. US/Mexico border fence reduced from 800 miles to 200 milesEtc Etc Etc

        September 15, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • tomnikoly

      Kudos to you!!

      April 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  81. theAntiELVIS

    Movies based on source material from other media and eras are almost always crap. How many books and actual historical events have they messed with? Hollywood doesn't trust the source material to be interesting enough, nor does it trust the audience to be smart enough to understand material that isn't dumbed-down. I rarely see movies that are adaptations for these reasons.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • RadarTheKat

      In total agreement with you, all I have left to say is, Dune, what a book! Not so much the movie though. They put it in the hands of the guy who brought the world Eraserhead. It took him over a decade to bring Dune to the big screen, and the result nearly sucked the very life out of every hapless schmuck who paid for a ticket.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  82. Fletchman13

    This is why I could never stand that "Merlin" series where a young Merlin is friends with Prince Arthur and his maid Guinevere. GAHHH!!

    April 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • svann

      Lancelot dies. lol

      April 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
      • Fletchman13

        Whaaaa? Lancelot died?!

        April 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  83. BlackHorse

    Myths, like folk and fairy tales, are by definition orally transmitted – passed down through generations of listeners with no written record. To rail against "inaccuracy" in a myth is to forget what a myth is. Every orally transmitted story has existed in thousands of versions that altered with every telling. While, like the author, I greatly enjoyed reading myths as a child, and at one point I too felt the urge to play guardian to the "correct" versions, the truth is that no single definitive version of myth can ever exist. It's the happy nature of such stories to grow organically, take on new color from each teller's time and culture, and re-connect new audiences with the central impulses of stories who details shift day by day. There's no need to cast out the heretical pretenders; just enjoy the newest creations..

    April 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • JeffinIL

      You're very wrong about the accuracy of oral historians. I'd explain why but the post would be long and no one really cares to hear it anyway.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
      • BlackHorse

        I'm not actually talking about oral historians, so thank goodness we didn't waste time with a post on that topic. That would be almost as silly as suggesting that the story of Perseus as passed down in legend is an historical test.

        April 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  84. Partial_M

    Big budget flicks tend to play to the lowest common denominator. Hollywood thinks that we are dumber than our ancestors of millenia past. Or, perhaps, it is the screenwriters themselves who suffer from short attention spans and shallow thinking.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  85. kschenke

    Something to note about Percy Jackson: as far as the books go, those stories are actually pretty good about referring to the myths. Where things go wrong is in the film adaptation itself, which not only messes with the mythology but the actual book series in some huge ways (including making Hades a straight forward bad guy again, which he wasn't in the books).

    April 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |