Medusa: Everything We Know About The Mythological Film From The Director Of Watchmen

No idea or character is too old for Hollywood to recycle. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Amazon Studios will be developing a new film based on Medusa, one of the most famous monsters of Greek mythology. One of three sisters known as the Gorgons, Medusa is famous for her hair made of snakes and piercing gaze: anyone who looks her in the eyes turns to stone.

Described as a "modern take" on the character, it seems the film will ditch ancient Greece for a more contemporary setting. "Medusa" will be an action-adventure movie, with the titular character as the unlikely hero. With the movie so early in pre-production, there's no word on who will be the star; the makers probably don't even know yet. However, THR was able to share who some of the talent working behind the scenes are.

Who is working on Medusa?

Nicole Kassell is slated to direct this "Medusa" project. She has two feature films under her belt: 2003's "The Woodsman" (a character study of a convicted pedophile played by Kevin Bacon) and 2011's "A Little Bit of Heaven" (a forgotten rom-com starring Kate Hudson and Gael García Bernal). Like many film directors who hit a slump, Kassell came back into the public eye thanks to television. She was especially acclaimed for directing three episodes of HBO's "Watchmen" — she previously worked with series creator Damon Lindelof on "The Leftovers."

Kassell's helmed episodes were the premiere "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice," the second episode, "Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship," and the stunning penultimate episode "A God Walks Into a Bar." "Watchmen" comic writer Alan Moore may not have been a fan of the series, but a lot of people were. Kassell's work on "Watchmen" earned her a Directors' Guild of America award and an Emmy nomination in 2020.

The "Medusa" script is being written by Nicole Perlman, known for her work on "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Captain Marvel," and "Detective Pikachu." Perlman will also executive produce the project, while Kassell and Vinson Films' Tripp Vinson and Tara Farney will be producers.

What is Medusa about?

The scant information about the story of "Medusa" says she is "on an epic quest to save the world" after "running afoul of the gods." This is quite a change from how Medusa is usually portrayed.

In mythology itself, Medusa was a villainess slain by the great hero Perseus; he kept her decapitated head and used it to turn his enemies to stone. This tale has been portrayed on film in "Clash of the Titans" — both the 1981 original, where Medusa was created via stop-motion, and the 2010 remake, where she was played by Natalia Vodianova. Only Vodianova's face was undistorted by CGI. "Percy Jackson," who is inspired by Perseus, also faced Medusa (Uma Thurman) in 2010's "The Lightning Thief."

However, there have been attempts at reclaiming Medusa in feminist circles. After all, mythology says she was once mortal, before being sexually assaulted by Poseidon and cursed by a jealous Athena. It seems likely this new film will take inspiration from this modern reading. It's plausible "Medusa" will thus fit in alongside "Maleficent" and "Cruella," films that try to reinvent classic villainesses as misunderstood heroines. Who knows, we might even get the roles flipped and have Perseus as a villain.

When deciphering the film's likely handling of the material, the talent involved is telling. Kassell and Perlman are both superhero media alums. Vinson Film's crown jewel, "Ready or Not," is part of the "Good for her" canon.

No release date for Medusa has been announced.