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
Written by
  • Vlas Parlapanides
  • Charley Parlapanides
Produced by
CinematographyBrendan Galvin
Edited by
  • Wyatt Jones
  • Stuart Levy
Music byTrevor Morris
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. It uses motifs of the Greek myths of Theseus, the return of the Heraclids, the Minotaur, and the Titanomachy, but the plot does not resemble any coherent narrative originating from Greek mythology.

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 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]


The Twelve Olympians imprisoned the Titans beneath Mount Tartarus, losing the powerful Epirus Bow. King Hyperion searches for the bow to release the Titans. Hyperion attempts to capture the virgin oracle Phaedra, to use her dreams and visions to find it. He heard that a man named Theseus will slay him.

Villagers prepare to flee Hyperion's army, among them Theseus, a warrior trained by the Old Man, who says Theseus has been chosen by the gods. His mother Aethra was raped by Zeus, and Theseus was born, so they are "outcasts" forced to remain behind by Lysander and his Athenian soldiers. Theseus battles them until General Helios discharges Lysander for his actions. Lysander departs and offers his service and the village's location to Hyperion, who accepts, and maims Lysander as a traitor. Hyperion's forces attack Theseus' village, murdering Aethra, and capturing Theseus.

The Old Man is Zeus. He commands his fellow gods not to interfere in mortal affairs as gods. Unless the Titans are released, they must have faith in mankind's free will to defeat Hyperion. Theseus is manacled to the thief Stavros. Phaedra, held captive nearby, sees a vision of Theseus supporting Hyperion. Phaedra and her sisters, assaulted by Hyperion's guards, kill them, provoking a riot. She uses the chaos to escape with Theseus, Stavros, and other slaves. They pursue Hyperion, but are overwhelmed by Hyperion's forces when trying to seize a boat. Poseidon, unseen by Zeus dives from Olympus into the ocean causing a tidal wave that wipes out Hyperion's men. Afterward, Phaedra sees a vision of Theseus standing near a shrouded body. She says Theseus must return home to bury his mother, Aethra.

This done, Theseus discovers the Epirus Bow in nearby rock. He frees it, but is attacked by Hyperion's henchman the Beast, whose armour resembles a Minotaur. Theseus kills him and uses the Bow to kill his allies' captors before collapsing from poisoned scratches inflicted by the Beast. Phaedra tends Theseus and falls in love with him. She begs him to take her virginity, stripping her of the visions she deems a curse and they both have sex. The group returns to Phaedra's temple. Hyperion and his forces are away at Mount Tartarus. They discover Hyperion was torturing Phaedra's sister oracles to force them to tell where Phaedra is but they refused. At the temple, Stavros and Theseus are lured into an ambush. The bow is seized by Hyperion's hyena. Ares directly intervenes to save Theseus, killing the attackers. Athena then provides them with horses to reach Mount Tartarus. Zeus suddenly descends and kills Ares for disobeying his law, he spares Athena's life because she did not physically interfere like Ares did. Before ascending with Athena, Zeus tells Theseus that he and his allies will receive no more aid from the gods as he must justify the faith that Zeus has in him alone.

Hyperion now has the Epirus Bow. Theseus, Stavros, and Phaedra gallop to Mount Tartarus. Theseus warns King Cassander of Hyperion's plans to destroy the kingdom's children, make their future generations his own descendants, and release the Titans, but Cassander dismisses the gods as myth, intending to negotiate peace. Next day, Hyperion uses the Bow to breach the city's immense wall, killing General Helios and the wall's defenders. Theseus rallies the Hellenic army and leads them against Hyperion's forces, killing Lysander. Hyperion storms through, kills Cassander, and before Stavros and Theseus can stop him, uses the Epirus Bow to blast open the mountain and free the Titans. The blast stuns the mortals and Hyperion drops the Bow. Stavros takes it up, but is slain. Zeus and the gods descend to battle the Titans, and urge Theseus to fight Hyperion. Zeus destroys the Epirus Bow with Ares' Warhammer. The gods prove more powerful than the Titans, but are overwhelmed, and all are killed except Zeus, and Poseidon, badly wounded. Theseus kills Hyperion, and Athena dies, begging Zeus to not abandon men. Zeus collapses Mount Tartarus on the Titans and ascends to Olympus with Athena's body and the mortally wounded Theseus. The collapsing mountain wipes out Hyperion's men.

Theseus' story becomes legend. Phaedra has since given birth to Theseus' son Acamas after being impregnated by him. The Old Man tells Acamas that he will fight against evil. Acamas sees the sky filled with Olympians and Titans, and Theseus, in battle.



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


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.[15] 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.[16] 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).[18] 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.[19]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 49% based on 139 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. 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."[20] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 46 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, rising to a "B+" among 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,"[22] 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".[23] 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."[24]

Of those who praised the picture, it received an honorable mention from MTV as one of the year's best films[25] as well as making Guy Lodge's top twenty films of 2011 list on HitFix.[26] Furthermore, it was on TORO Magazine's Top Ten list[27] as well as Glasgow To The Movies' Top Ten Films of 2011.[28] Marc Eastman, of Are You Screening, named Immortals the #3 film of 2011.[29] It also was nominated for several Saturn Awards, including Best Fantasy Film.[30] 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.[31] It was also named one of Vocal Media’s Five Most UnderAppreciated Fantasy Films in 2018.[32]


Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2011 IGN Summer Movie Awards Best Fantasy Film Immortals Nominated [33][34]
Best 3-D Movie Immortals Nominated
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


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.


  • The bow used to depict the Epirus Bow is a simple modern recurve takedown bow painted in glittering black paint. It even has part of a modern bow sight attached to the bow.



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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.
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  25. ^ Warner, Kara (December 29, 2011). "MTV Movies' Honorable Mentions of 2011". MTV News. ViacomCBS. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
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External links[edit]