I can't say this is surprising news. With the quiet success of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes and other big budget period films coming to theaters soon (Prince of Persia, Robin Hood, Guy Ritchie's own adaptation of King Arthur, etc.), it's clear the studios have found their new favorite fad.
The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Warner Bros. has picked up a treatment for a film called Leonardo da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever, an action-oriented adventure flick centered around the legendary renaissance man.
Da Vinci is best known as the painter behind "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper," though he also was an inventor, engineer, architect, mathematician among many other occupations. The project re-imagines Da Vinci as a member of a secret society who falls headlong into a supernatural adventure that pits the man against Biblical demons in a story involving secret codes, lost civilizations, hidden fortresses and fallen angels. Think "National Treasure" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by way of "Clash of the Titans."
Common sense (and the nature of this film's title) would dictate that Warner Bros. wants this to be the start of a new franchise, with sequels perhaps keeping the "Leonardo da Vinci and the..." title structure. As cynical as I may have sounded so far, I'm not writing this movie off by any means. If you're familiar with the video game Assassin's Creed II, I'm sure you can recognize the potential for this film. Da Vinci features heavily in the main storyline of the game and his real-life history was interesting enough for an entire series of nonfiction films.
Producer Adrian Askarieh came up with the original idea for the story and wrote the treatment, and the search is currently underway for a writer for the project. The Hollywood Reporter also notes Askarieh is working on the long-gestating Johnny Quest for the studio, which is the first mention of that project in a while. In the meantime, let's start churning the rumor mill over the casting of da Vinci: Owen Wilson, anyone? (JOKING.)
What do you think about the concept of da Vinci as an action hero? Is this historical blasphemy or a potentially fun idea?