It was in the spring, earlier this year, when Vin Diesel posted the above image on his Facebook fan page, with no accompanying words. At the time, we weren't sure if it really meant anything, other than to point out the fact that it's his "Dream" project, as the image suggests.
Or was he dropping a hint, teasing us with what might be some movement on the project finally, after about a decade or so since it was first announced.
It looks like it was the latter, as, over the weekend, Diesel posted the following message on his Facebook fan page:
"When a dream is born in your childhood... When you spend a decade daring to pursue it... The day, a head of a studio says, 'I want to make all three films of your Hannibal trilogy!' It takes a minute to sink in. Shhh... It's still sinking in."
That suggests that he's found a studio that's interested in the project, right? At least, that's my take on it.
Diesel has been jocking this project for what seems like forever! I'm referring of course to Hannibal The Conqueror - the Carthaginian general who led an army, complete with war elephants, across the Alps, to battle Rome in the Second Punic war (his father Hamilcar Barca was the leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War).
I believe Denzel Washington, at one time, before Diesel, was interested in the role. He's a little too old to play Hannibal now - at least, if the plan is to focus the film's story on the Second Punic War years, during which Hannibal would have aged from 30 to about 45 years old (Diesel is 45 currently). And for some, the mixed-race Vin is probably a better fit for the Carthaginian Hannibal (who would be a modern-day Tunisian from the northern tip of Africa) than Washington. But that's another discussion for another post.
Will the film ever get made? Well, if Vin Diesel wants to star in it, it had better happen soon, before he also grows too old to play the part.
Previously, in a mid-2010 post about the project, Diesel posted a comment on his Facebook page, accompanied by a picture of himself with Denzel Washington, which you can see below, which seemed to suggest that the project might indeed finally be coming together, dropping a couple of bombs regarding who might be attached to co-star and direct the film; specifically, he said the following:
I told you about a meeting with a director in LA, I said it was important and I would explain later... well the Director I met was Tony Scott, I had met his brother for something a long time ago... but I had never met him. I have always been a fan of both of their work... Well this meeting was exceptional. We talked about Hannibal and the Punic Wars and how by nature the story demanded three movies. The first movie centering around Hamilcar, Father of Hannibal and the Defender of Africa, in the First Punic War. He said he would get our friend Denzel to play Hamilcar. Haha, very super cool... Denzel is a friend, whom I admire and who has given industry advice that I use to this day. Him playing Hamilcar and for Tony to Direct... exciting to say the least.
Well, as we know, Tony Scott passed away earlier this year, so he's obviously not going to be directing this.
Regardless, 2 years later, the project hasn't materialized, as Diesel continues to fund his bank account with sequels. Today's news is the first real suggestion that there actually might be movement on the project, finally.
if this ever happens, it'll be a pretty big deal, don't you think? We're talking a fairly large budget, especially if a trilogy is the plan, as Vin stated; although this actually sounds more like Tony's brother, Ridley Scott's territory - the historical epic.
Quite frankly, despite today's news, I still wouldn't look for Hannibal on our movie screens any time soon; is it a story Hollywood is anxious to tell? 3 decisive Carthaginian victories over the mighty Roman Republic (even though Hannibal would eventually be defeated).
Here's the pic he posted with Denzel on Facebook 2 years ago: