Columbia will turn the story of an ancient Greek military expedition into an epic action film.
The studio has acquired a pitch for an adaptation of "Anabasis," a memoir written around 400 B.C. by Xenophon, a Greek soldier who was among 10,000 elite mercenaries who attacked the Persian Empire and who led them back through hostile terrain after their leader was betrayed and slain.
The tale inspired Walter Hill's 1979 film "The Warriors."
Script will be written by Robert Schenkkan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who just served as writer and co-producer on HBO miniseries "The Pacific." Jimmy Miller will team with Robbie and Jonathan Stamp to produce under Miller's Sony-based Mosaic label.
On the fifth day they did in fact reach the mountain; its name was Theches. Now as soon as the vanguard got to the top of the mountain, a great shout went up. And when Xenophon and the rearguard heard it, they imagined that other enemies were attacking in front; for enemies were following behind them from the district that was in flames, and the rearguard had killed some of them and captured others by setting an ambush, and had also taken about twenty wicker shields covered with raw, shaggy ox-hides. But as the shout kept getting louder and nearer, as the successive ranks that came up all began to run at full speed toward the ranks ahead that were one after another joining in the shout, and as the shout kept growing far louder as the number of men grew steadily greater, it became quite clear to Xenophon that here was something of unusual importance; so he mounted a horse, took with him Lycius and the cavalry, and pushed ahead to lend aid; and in a moment they heard the soldiers shouting, “The Sea! The Sea!” and passing the word along. Then all the troops of the rearguard likewise broke into a run, and the pack animals began racing ahead and the horses. And when all had reached the summit, then indeed they fell to embracing one another, and generals and captains as well, with tears in their eyes.