It is always beautiful when a classic tale is remade to a modern audience. In this case, Academy nominee filmmaker Uberto Pasolini is tasked with offering a new take on the classic Homer tale, The Odyssey. The project that had been announced last year and is now set to star Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche in lead roles, titled The Return.
Bleecker Street has picked up North American rights to the film and it will mark the first time Fiennes (The Menu) and Binoche (The New Look) will take part in a project together since Anthony Mingehella‘s iconic, Oscar-winning The English Patient, which proved to be a cultural sensation upon its release. Joining the acting legends on the picture is Charlie Plummer, the Venice Film Festival Best Young Actor Award winner.
The official synopsis of the film reads:
After 20 years away Odysseus (Fiennes) washes up on the shores of Ithaca, haggard and unrecognizable. The King has finally returned home but much has changed in his kingdom since he left to fight in the Trojan war. His beloved wife Penelope (Binoche) is now a prisoner in her own home, hounded by her many ambitious suitors to choose a new husband, a new king.
Their son Telemachus (Plummer), who has grown up fatherless, is facing death at the hands of the suitors who see him as an obstacle in their relentless pursuit of Penelope and the kingdom. Odysseus has changed too. Scarred by his experience of war, he is no longer the mighty warrior his people remember. But he is forced to face his past in order to rediscover the strength needed to save his family and win back the love he has lost.
Speaking on the project previously, Pasolini said, “I feel enormously fortunate to be able to bring Homer’s world alive through the great talent of Juliette and Ralph, whose powerful screen presence is matched by the fearlessness they bring to their work.” The Return will begin production in Greece this spring with shoots in the regions of Corfu and the Peloponnese, before moving to Italy.
The Return is written by Pasolini, Edward Bond, and John Collee. Executive producing the picture for Bleecker Street are Andrew Karpen and Kent Sanderson. The film is an Italy-Greece-U.K.-France co-production, produced by Pasolini and James Clayton for Red Wave Films, Roberto Sessa for Picomedia (Asacha Media Group) with Rai Cinema, Giorgos Karnavas and Konstantinos Kontovravkis for Heretic and Stéphane Moatti, Romain Le Grand, Vivien Aslanian and Marco Pacchioni for Kabo Films (Asacha Media Group) and Marvelous Production.
Bleecker Street has set a 2024 release date for the film.