The Return

The Odyssey is one of the most important works in the history of literature, and now a new film adaptation will retell the story in an updated, gritty way. The Return will star Ralph Fiennes, who recently appeared in The Menu and is working on political thriller film Conclave, will star as Odysseus, the central character of Homer’s epic poem. He’ll reunite with Juliette Binoche, who starred opposite him in The English Patient, and the film will be directed by Uberto Pasolini (Still Life, The Full Monty).

As in The Odyssey, The Return is set after the Trojan War, with King Odysseus washing up on the shores of Ithaca, after his twenty-year-long journey. Things at home are not running smoothly, however, with his kingdom in disarray and his wife Penelope a prisoner in her own home. Fiennes’ Odysseus is a much-changed man, having experienced the horrors and brutality of war. The King who left is not the one the people of Ithaca remember, and instead still reeling from his ordeal. His son, Telemachus, is also in trouble, threatened with death by the suitors who are pursuing his mother to take their hand in marriage and become the new king. It’s with this backdrop that Odysseus must try to regain his old strength and character to restore his kingdom and save his family.

Opposite Fiennes in the main role is Binoche as his loving wife Penelope, while Charlie Plummer (Lean on Pete, All the Money in the World) will play Telemachus, struggling without having a father figure. Further casting has yet to be announced, and the script will be co-written by Pasolini, playwright Edward Bond and Master and Commander screenwriter John Collee. In contrast to the original text, The Return won’t feature Greek gods and mythological monsters, but will instead be “an elemental thriller with a traumatized veteran forced to return to violence in order to save his loved ones.”

The film is currently set to arrive on cinema screens in 2024, and begin filming in Greece this spring.


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