Immortals (2011 film)

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Several soldiers fighting against a fiery background with the words "Immortals" and the date "11.11.11" in the foreground
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTarsem Singh
Produced by
Written by
  • Vlas Parlapanides
  • Charley Parlapanides
Music byTrevor Morris
CinematographyBrendan Galvin
Edited by
  • Wyatt Jones
  • Stuart Levy
Distributed by
Release date
  • November 11, 2011 (2011-11-11)
Running time
110 minutes
CountriesUnited States
United Kingdom
Budget$75 million[1]
Box office$226.9 million[1]

Immortals is a 2011 American fantasy action film directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans, John Hurt, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, Freida Pinto, Joseph Morgan, Daniel Sharman, and Mickey Rourke.[2] The film was previously named Dawn of War and War of the Gods before being officially named Immortals, and is loosely based on the Greek myths of Theseus, the Minotaur, and the Titanomachy.

Principal photography began in Montreal on April 5, 2010. The film was released in 2D and in 3D (using the Real D 3D and Digital 3D formats) on November 11, 2011 by Relativity Media, becoming a commercial success at the box office by grossing over $226 million. Premiering in Los Angeles on November 8, 2011, the film received mixed to positive reviews, with critics praising Tarsem's direction and visuals, acting, ensemble cast, action sequences, production and costume design, and music score, but criticized the film's storytelling and the lack of character development,[3] and has become a cult film since its release.


After a race of immortal beings waged war on each other for ten years, the Twelve Olympians emerged victorious, ruling on Mount Olympus and vanquishing the previous generation of ruling gods, the Titans, to imprisonment beneath Mount Tartarus. During the war, the Epirus Bow, a mighty weapon capable of shooting invincible arrows of energy, fell to Earth and was lost.

In 1228 BC, King Hyperion[a] (Mickey Rourke) of Heraklion mounts a campaign to recover the Epirus Bow and free the Titans, bitter over the death of his family from disease and determined to destroy the gods who refused his prayers that his family be spared. In search of the virgin oracle, whose prophetic visions he intends on using to find the Bow, Hyperion subjugates the Sibylline monastery, capturing a monk (Mark Margolis) who cuts off his own tongue to prevent himself from divulging the oracle's identity. His efforts prove futile, however, when Hyperion discovers the oracle to be Phaedra (Freida Pinto), imprisoning her and her attendants, before laying waste to nearby villages.

To escape Hyperion's army, the inhabitants of one of the villages prepare to flee to Mount Tartarus, Theseus (Henry Cavill), a stonemason, and his mother Aethra (Anne Day-Jones) among them. Despite his skill as a warrior, having been trained in combat by his mentor (John Hurt), a mysterious old man, both mother and son are outcasts in their village, regarded as undesirables due to Theseus being a product of his mother's rape. Forced to stay behind in the village by Lysander (Joseph Morgan), a cruel Athenian soldier, Theseus begins to fight for his and his mother's life, until the army's general, Helios (Peter Stebbings), intervenes and discharges Lysander from the army. Seeking vengeance, Lysander travels to Hyperion to offer him his services, revealing the location of Theseus's village. Hyperion accepts Lysander's offer, but scars his face and crushes his testicles to mark his treachery.

The old man meets with the goddess Athena (Isabel Lucas) and the gods Poseidon (Kellan Lutz), Ares (Daniel Sharman), Apollo (Corey Sevier), and Heracles (Steve Byers), revealing himself to be Zeus (Luke Evans), the king of the gods, in disguise. Zeus warns the others to refrain from interfering in mortal affairs, unless the Titans are released from their prison, and urges them to have trust in mankind's ability to defeat Hyperion.

Hyperion's forces attack Theseus's village, with Aethra among the slain villagers. Theseus is taken captive, where he is imprisoned alongside Phaedra and her attendants. After touching Theseus, Phaedra has a vision of him as either the savior of humanity or as Hyperion's ally in the destruction of the world. That night, she and her attendants seduce and kill the guards. Phaedra escapes with Theseus, along with the mute monk and two slaves, Stavros (Stephen Dorff) and Dareios (Alan van Sprang). Theseus decides to pursue Hyperion and attempts to capture one of his ships, but is quickly defeated by Hyperion's men. In an effort to save Theseus, Poseidon dives into the ocean from Mount Olympus, creating an enormous tsunami that wipes out the opposing forces.

After having a vision of a shrouded body which she believes to be Theseus's mother, Phaedra tells him that he must return to his village and properly bury Aethra, reasoning that even though he doesn't believe in the gods, his mother was deeply faithful. While laying Aethra to rest in the village's labyrinth, Theseus discovers the Epirus Bow embedded in a nearby rock. He frees the Bow, but is attacked by Hyperion's forces and his powerful henchman, the Minotaur (Robert Maillet). Dareios is killed by the soldiers, but Theseus manages to defeat the Minotaur and uses the Bow to save the others from being executed, before collapsing from the Minotaur's venomous scratches. As Phaedra tends to Theseus's wounds, the two fall in love. They spend the night together, and Phaedra is freed of the prophetic visions which she had thought herself cursed by.

The following day, the group returns to the Sibylline monastery where they are lured into an ambush, with a jackal stealing the Epirus Bow from Theseus and bringing it to Hyperion. Vastly outnumbered by Hyperion's men, Ares intervenes to save Theseus's life. Enraged at Ares for disobeying his orders, Zeus kills him. He allows Athena to provide the group with horses to reach Mount Tartarus, so that they can stand against Hyperion's forces, but warns the humans and gods alike that there will be no more divine intervention. Before leaving with Athena, Zeus entreats Theseus to prove him right and justify the faith he has in him alone.

Theseus, Stavros, and Phaedra travel to Mount Tartarus where Theseus tries to warn Cassander (Stephen McHattie), the king of the Hellenes, of Hyperion's plans. His talk of the gods is dismissed by an unbelieving Cassander, who instead plans on negotiating peace with Hyperion. The following day, Hyperion uses the Epirus Bow to destroy the gates of Mount Tartarus, freeing the Titans from their prison, and prompting Zeus and the other Olympians to intervene. Meanwhile, Theseus leads the Hellenic army to war against the Hyperion forces, killing Lysander in battle. The massive force unleashed by the Titans's release knocks Stavros into a vault. Trapped, he retrieves the Bow and manages to kill one of the Titans, buying Theseus time to get to safety, before being killed by the other Titans. Theseus manages to kill Hyperion, sustaining mortal injuries in the process, and Zeus destroys the Epirus Bow. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of the Titans, all of the gods, except for Zeus and Poseidon, are killed. In an effort to imprison the Titans once more, Zeus destroys Mount Tartarus, with the collapsing mountain trapping the Titans and crushing the remnants of Hyperion's army. He then retrieves Athena's body and ascends to Olympus with a badly wounded Poseidon. For his sacrifice, Theseus is transported to Olympus, where he is given a place amongst the gods.

Several years later, Theseus's story has become one of legend. Phaedra lives in Theseus's old village where she raises their son, Acamas (Gage Munroe), who has inherited her gift of prophecy. Zeus, in his guise of an old man, approaches the boy and tells him to prepare for a coming war against evil, and to not fear his visions. Acamas closes his eyes, and in a vision, sees the sky filled with thousands of Titans and gods in battle, with his father, Theseus, leading the charge.



This film incorporates some elements from classical Greek myths and was filmed using 3D technology.[original research?] Director Tarsem Singh said that he was planning an action film using Renaissance painting styles. He then went on to say that the film is "Basically, Caravaggio meets Fight Club. It's a really hardcore action film done in Renaissance painting style. I want to see how that goes; it's turned into something really cool. I'm going for a very contemporary look on top of that so I'm kind of going with, you know, Renaissance time with electricity. So it's a bit like Baz Luhrmann doing Romeo + Juliet in Mexico; it's just taking a particular Greek tale and half (make it contemporary) and telling it."[11] The film had a production budget of $80 million ($75 million after tax rebates)[12] to $120 million[13] and cost "at least" $35 million to market.[14]


The score for the film was composed, produced and conducted by Trevor Morris and has been released on November 8, 2011.

Track listing
1."Immortal and Divine"1:30
2."War in the Heavens"2:32
3."Hyperion's Siren"3:47
4."Witness Hell"1:56
5."To Mount Olympus"2:54
6."Enter the Oracles"2:30
7."Theseus and Phaedra"1:37
8."Poseidon's Leap"1:24
9."This Is Your Calling"1:31
10."Theseus Fights the Minotaur"2:13
11."Theseus Fires the Bow"2:16
12."My Own Heart"3:03
13."Zeus' Punishment"2:27
14."Ride to the Gates"1:00
15."In War, Fathers Bury Their Sons"1:05
16."The Gods Chose Well"1:18
17."Fight So Your Name Survives"3:07
18."Battle in the Tunnels"2:44
19."Immortal Combat"3:34
20."Do Not Forsake Mankind"4:33
22."Sky Fight/End Credits"2:22


Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 46% based on 131 reviews, with an average rating of 5.28/10. The website's critical consensus states: "The melding of real sets, CG work, and Tarsem's signature style produces fireworks, though the same can't be said for Immortals' slack, boring storytelling."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 46 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16] According to CinemaScore, the moviegoers gave the film was a "B" on an A+ to F scale and a "B+" with viewers under 25.[17]

In an affectionate but unfavorable review, Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four, saying "Immortals is without doubt the best-looking awful movie you will ever see,"[18] while The Guardian gave the film three stars out of five, commenting "Theseus battles the Titans in a cheerfully idiotic mythological yarn ballasted by Tarsem's eyecatching image-making".[19] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter said "Thuddingly ponderous, heavy-handed and lacking a single moment that evinces any relish for movie-making, this lurch back from the "history" of 300 into the mists of Greek myth is a drag in nearly every way, from the particulars of physical torture to the pounding score that won't quit."[20]

Of those who praised the picture, it received an honorable mention from MTV as one of the year's best films[21] as well as making Guy Lodge's top twenty films of 2011 list on HitFix.[22] Furthermore, it was on TORO Magazine's Top Ten list[23] as well as Glasgow To The Movies' Top Ten Films of 2011.[24] Marc Eastman, of Are You Screening, named Immortals the #3 film of 2011.[25] It also was nominated for several Saturn Awards, including Best Fantasy Film.[26] The film is now viewed as a cult hit and was recently named as one of the top ten underrated fantasy films of the decade by Screen Rant.[27] It was also named one of Vocal Media’s Five Most UnderAppreciated Fantasy Films in 2018.[28]

Box office[edit]

In North America, it was released on November 11, 2011. Immortals had a $1.4 million midnight showings and then grossed a total of $14.8 million on its opening day, topping the daily box office.[29] It then finished the weekend of November 11–13, 2011 at #1 with $32.2 million, ranking as Relativity Media's biggest opening weekend to date, against newcomers J. Edgar and Jack and Jill.[30] 3D showings accounted for a substantial 66% of the weekend gross. The film's audience was 60 percent male, 75 percent under the age of 35.[17]

Outside North America, it earned $38 million overseas from 35 countries on its opening weekend. Its highest-grossing territories were Russia ($8.2 million), China ($5.7 million) and South Korea ($4.5 million).[31] The film has earned $83,504,017 in the United States and Canada and $143,400,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $226,904,017.[32]


Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2012 Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Film Immortals Nominated [33]
Best Production Design Tom Foden Nominated
Best Make Up Annick Chartier, Adrien Morot, and Nikoletta Skarlatos Nominated
Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2011 IGN Summer Movie Awards Best Fantasy Film Immortals Nominated [33][34]
Best 3-D Movie Immortals Nominated


Home media[edit]

Immortals was released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and Blu-ray 3D on March 5, 2012 in the United Kingdom and on March 6, 2012 in the United States and Canada.[35] In its first week of release 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment sold more than 1.2 million units of the film[36] making it the week's #1 film in Home Entertainment.[37] It sold 648,947 DVD units for a total of $11,116,462 and 926,964 Blu-ray Disc units for a total of $21,310,902 for the week ending March 11, 2012.[38] An additional 100,000 3D units sold totaling almost $40,000,000 in home entertainment sales in its first week of release in the United States.

Other media[edit]

Archaia Press released a graphic novel tie-in titled Immortals: Gods and Heroes, the hardcover book featured new stories that expanded on the universe established in the film.[39]

See also[edit]

  • The brazen bull, an ancient Greek device of torture and execution, is applied in the film to the maidens of the oracle.


  1. ^ The character of King Hyperion in Immortals is fictionalized and not to be confused with Hyperion, one of the twelve Titans.


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  3. ^ Marie, Fiona (April 9, 2010). "War of the Gods and Dawn of War Are Immortals". FilmoFilia. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  4. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (June 27, 2008). "New War follows 300 path". The Hollywood Reporter. MRC. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  5. ^ Soon, Coming (April 6, 2010). "Immortals is the Official Title for War of Gods". Evolve Media. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
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  13. ^ Finke, Nikki (November 13, 2011). "Immortals #1 With So-So $32M Domestic But $36M Foreign, Jack And Jill $26M". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
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  26. ^ Goldberg, Matt (February 29, 2012). "Saturn Award Nominations Announced; Hugo and Harry Potter Lead with 10 Nominations Each". Collider. Valnet. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  27. ^ Pierce-Bohen, Kayleena (November 17, 2019). "10 Underrated Fantasy Films From The 2010s You Have To See". Screen Rant. Valnet. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
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External links[edit]