Lepanto is Ready for Its Close Up Mr. DeMille



Mark Judge has advised Hollywood that a movie on the battle of Lepanto would make a ton of money.  Go here to read his post.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, dreads what Hollywood would do with it.

Mark Judge dreams big dreams:

Memo to Hollywood: if you want to replicate the blockbuster success of American Sniper, make a film about Lepanto.

The Battle of Lepanto was fought on October 7, 1571, in the Gulf of Lepanto south of Greece. It was a seminal victory of the Western world turning back Islamic imperialism, which in the 16th century had been spreading west for one hundred years, since the time of Mohammed.

It would make a ton of money.  But I think that Mark is smart enough to know that there is a five-word reason why a Lepanto movie will never see the light of day.  Roman Catholics win.  Muslims lose.

I’ll just be blunt about it: Lepanto would be a film about Islamic imperialism and the attempt by the Christian West to turn it back. It would depict Muslims — not all Muslims, but more than a few — as violent hegemonic oppressors intent on taking over the world.

Yeah, Mark, considering what Hollywood just did to Noah, here’s that pitch meeting.

“Okay, we LOVE the script.  Our tech people tell us that CGI-ing the sea battle itself will be a piece of cake so we’d LOVE to take this project on.  There are just a couple of very MINOR changes we’d like to make.

“What kinds of changes?

“Well, for a start, is it absolutely NECESSARY that the opposing fleet be Muslim?”

“Because…that’s what they…were?”

“I’ll take your word for it but remember, we’ve got foreign markets to consider.  What Muslim country will show this movie?

“What self-respecting Turk is going to pay good money to watch his own fleet getting blown out of the water?  No, we’ve got to lose the Muslim angle.  How about we make the other fleet Protestants?”

“Because Protestantism was barely 50 years old at the time of the battle and didn’t have a fleet.  Why would you even suggest such an absurd…”

“Artistic license.  What say we move the whole thing to land then?  Protestants v. Catholics.”

“Then it wouldn’t be a sea battle, would it?”

Will you work with me here?!!  How about this?  The enemy fleet is filled with Vikings.”

“Great!! Except for the fact that the Viking Era ended roughly 500 years before this battle took place.  Tell you what.  Thanks for your time and we’ll get back to you.”

Go here to read the comments.  Ah, if only such a film had been made during the Golden Age of Hollywood!  Directed by Cecil B. DeMille, with Charlton Heston as Don Juan of Austria.  Cervantes is portrayed by Mel Ferrer.  Saint Pius V would be memorably brought to the screen by Rex Harrison.  A cast of thousands, including lots of European actors and actresses with accents incomprehensible to American audiences.  Anthony Quinn, Demille’s one time son in law, could play the Ottoman leader, as during his career he portrayed every ethnic group imaginable.  Samuel Fuller is brought in to direct the battle scenes.  The Pope is asked to attend a private screening and agrees so long as Demille allows rosaries to be said following each performance of the film!  And, of course, sections of Chesterton’s poem Lepanto would be flashed on the screen as a classy narration.  The critics would hate it and audiences would love it!


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  1. Had Mel Gibson not fallen back into drunkenness, he could have made such a movie about Lepanto, and it would have been a smash it. The same goes with Vienna 1683.

    Truth is, he could still do it if he wanted to. The Passion of the Christ proved that he could go around the Hollywood system, make and distribute his own movies and stick it to Hollywood.

  2. The Battle of Tours (c. 732 AD) is also ripe for a film production. Who
    should play Charles Martel? Who should play Emir Abdul al Rahman?

  3. Our high moral horse would prove to be just way too much for the current Ottoman leader portraying himself as the first black President of the U.S..

    Could you imagine the rage the little sword wielding devils would have?
    Jihad On good fellows.

    A sober Mel Gibson would be a perfect pick for producing such a film.

  4. Knowing how Hollywood alters stories, Lepanto in their rendition would be about brave people of color from Spain fighting off the imminent threat to civilization posed by white supremacists, backed by mysterious large corporations.

  5. Oh, and Don Jon of Austria would be in a hot love affair with the Pope. Can’t leave out the themes of homosexual heroes and corrupt clergy in a Hollywood movie.

  6. TomD.

    Come on Tom….don’t throw a wet blanket on our dream. Your sense of reality is too true. Hollywierd has ruled to long.

  7. Cecil B. DeMille is dead, his place filled by lesser men. These will all too cleverly weave something stupid like global warming into the story. The Ottoman leader will look painfully like Obama, depicted as an archetype and predicted to return in our times.

  8. Well, Obama did say, “We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for”. Forty-fourth President – Twelfth Imam. Who’da thunk it? 😉

  9. Scene 56; Ottoman Hussain Obama looking over the burning sinking Islamic fleet, places his hands on his face and sobs. He pouts out loud and whispers; “If only I would of believed the lies I told myself.” “If only.” Then fade to black and run credits.

    “I am a Christian.” President Barack Hussein Obama.

  10. Penguins Fan: “Truth is, he could still do it if he wanted to. The Passion of the Christ proved that he could go around the Hollywood system, make and distribute his own movies and stick it to Hollywood.”
    Mel Gibson had received death threats to himself and his whole family while making The Passion of the Christ”, that is why Gibson changed the venue for the movie to, I believe, Italy. James Caviezel was struck by lightning. Could it be different this time?
    Mel Gibson needs to decide.

  11. It would seem that Stephen Speilberg would be a good choice. Being Jewish he would be immunce from criticism from those who see an agenda. Muslims don’t count since they lost and wouldn’t see the film anyway. Depicting Don Jaun would be a bit problimatic as his private life was not exactly exemplary but that could be offset by Andrea Doria who is still held in high regard today. All in all, hollywood is missing a good bet. It would probably even appeal to gamers and get them away from their screens for a few hours.

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