It is easy to compare this first trailer for “Immortals” to “300,” and it’s made easier by trumpeting the fact that the same producers are responsible.
Beyond those surface similarities, though, “Immortals” looks like a super-powered take on mythology that shows just how close our own modern comic book stories are to these tales rooted in an ancient tradition, and that’s not at all what “300” was about. And as much as some people want to claim that Zack Snyder invented slow-motion and half-naked men, that is not entirely true. I see a a clear through-line from his music videos to “The Cell” to “The Fall” to what we see in this trailer, and I think we’re in for something really unusual here.
When I moderated the panel for this film at WonderCon, I walked in knowing nothing. They showed me this trailer three or four times before we went onstage, and then we showed it twice as part of the panel. And watching it a few times like that, I’m most impressed by the way magic has been handled in this footage. The same way I feel that superheroes have traditionally been let down by the limitations of what is physically possible on film, our archetypes from mythology have rarely been allowed to be as mighty and powerful as they were written, and that’s been one of those things that has nagged at me on some level since I was a kid.
Now, finally, we are in an age where what you can realize onscreen is limited only by time, money, and imagination, and if you’ve got plenty of all three, I want to see things I’ve never seen before. I want to see things I know are blatantly impossible, larger-than-life action that involves powers beyond human capability. And “Immortals” looks to have plenty of that.
Obviously I’d love for this film to work emotionally first, and that’s one of those things no trailer can show. But on a visual level, I love the look of the combat here and the hyper-stylized look of the world, and for now, I am onboard. I want to see more of this one, and look forward to seeing what Tarsem and his cast and crew have all pulled off.
“Immortals” opens on November 11, 2011.