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BBC and Netflix team up for new take on the Iliad

The show has already been deemed controversial, due to the casting of British-Ghanan actor David Gyasi for the role of Achilles

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David Gyasi stars as Achilles.

All photos: (C) Wild Mercury Productions - Graham Bartholomew - BBC/Netflix

04 January 2018

Superheroes, serial-killers, talking horses, zombies, vikings and depressed mothers - the only thing missing from the tv ecosystem was an army of ancient Greek warriors in swords and sandals, and this is about to change, as BBC and Netflix teamed up to create a new take on the Iliad.

"Troy: Fall of a City," as its title suggests, narrates the epic through the eyes of the Trojans - particularly King Priam, played by David Threlfall (of 'Noah' and 'Shameless' fame) and Queen Hecuba, portrayed by Frances O'Connor ('Cleverman', 'The Missing', 'A.I.', 'Mansfield Park').

Louis Hunter and Bella Dayne play Paris and Helen in this retelling of the Homeric tale that BBC drama boss Piers Wenger pledged "will be like nothing broadcast before: a 3,000-year-old tale crafted on a huge scale."

The series is already considered one of the most anticipated for the 2018 TV season, but casting has already sparked a certain amount of controversy, given that the role of Achilles will be played by David Gyasi, a 37-year old actor from the UK.

The son of an immigrant from Ghana, Gyasi gained praise for his work in films such as 'Interstellar' and 'Cloud Atlas', but some purists consider him a wrong choice to play the 'fair-haired' hero.

Furthermore, the role of Patroclus will be played by the South African actor Lemogang Tsipa, while Zeus will be portrayed by the British-Nigerian actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Hotel Rwanda).

This kind of diverse casting is following the success of similar choices made in popular films, such as the 'Thor' franchise, in which deities of the Norse mythology are portrayed by actors hailing from the African diaspora.

Hecuba (FRANCES O’CONNOR) 

Odysseus (JOSEPH MAWLE)

Agamemnon (JOHNNY HARRIS), Menelaus (JONAS ARMSTRONG) 

Paris (LOUIS HUNTER), Helen (BELLA DAYNE)

 

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