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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Leonardo da Vinci, action hero: is the prospect terrifying or awesome?

Leonardo da Vinci

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present your next action hero: Leonardo da Vinci. Oh yes. From Variety:

Universal Pictures Intl. is looking to launch an action-adventure centered on the young Leonardo da Vinci, snapping up Jonny Kurzman’s “Leonardo” spec and setting it up with Larry and Charles Gordon.

Story is focused on da Vinci’s quest to stop Renaissance Europe from returning to the Dark Ages.

Somehow I bet this does not involve a multi-decade plan to boost literacy throughout Europe, thwart the influence of the Church through logic and reason, and elevate the status of women so that they may be more active participants in civic culture.

The painter of the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper was also a mathematician, architect, sculptor, writer, scientist and inventor — including concepts for a helicopter, a tank, solar power, a calculator and the double hull.

Ha! He’s like James Bond and Q all in one no doubt devastatingly handsome package.

Back in March 2010, we talked about historical figures as action heroes, and briefly touched on Leonardo’s then imminent plundering by Hollywood. Now, the moment is upon us.
Leonardo da Vinci, action hero — is the prospect terrifying or awesome? The question isn’t can such a story work: of course it could, because any idea can become a riproaring story if it’s done right. The question is, Can Hollywood possibly get this right, or will it look like yet another generic action movie with an Epcot Center setting? Will it be, heaven forfend, another Three Musketeers? Variety doesn’t say how young young is, but let’s presume our Leonardo is anywhere between 25 and 40. Who could play a convincing Renaissance action hero? Who should play him? (I’m thinking someone like Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, James McAvoy, Richard Armitage…)

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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