Greek lawyers threaten lawsuit over Alexander
December 03 2004 12:00 AM ET
A group of Greek lawyers will have a sneak preview Thursday of Oliver Stone's movie about Alexander the Great to decide whether to take legal action over scenes suggesting Greece's ancient ruler was bisexual. Warner Bros.' Alexander has angered 25 lawyers in Athens who say there is no official document to prove the warrior king, acclaimed as one of the greatest military leaders of all time, had sexual relations with men. They threatened to file a blocking order with the courts before the movie's Greek premiere Friday if the disputed scenes about the Macedonian king--played by Hollywood leading man Colin Farrell--offend them.
The film, hailed by U.S. gay and lesbian groups for breaking new ground in the way it depicts Alexander and his relationship with his friend Hephaestion, includes several references to the lead character's bisexuality. One U.S. newspaper called the film a case of "Queer Eye for the Macedonian Guy," while another referred to Alexander, from the Greek province of Macedonia, as the "first gay action hero." The lawyers, two of whom will watch the preview to form an opinion, say if the $160-million movie digresses from "academic truths" about the leader's sexuality, they would file the order Friday morning. "If there are these scenes referring to homosexual tendencies, then we will meet and decide to file a blocking order so that these scenes are removed," lawyer Kostas Koutsoulelos told Reuters Television.
The film is expected to open across 80 screens in Greece on Friday, but if the blocking order is upheld on the same day by the courts, the premiere could be delayed. The local distributor seems unfazed by the accusations. "There is really no reason for all of this. It seems it's just these lawyers who are upset," Spentzos Films' Serafim Mavromatis told Reuters. "We will go ahead as planned, and we have not had any other signs that people are bothered by this." The movie also features Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Hopkins. Stone tried for 15 years to get the film on the screen. It got mainly poor reviews, though, when it opened in the United States last week. It charts the life of Alexander the Great, who carved out the biggest empire of his time, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to Afghanistan, and never lost a battle. While the movie highlights Alexander's military prowess, a line from the film seems to play on the lawyers' fears: "Alexander was defeated only once--by Hephaestion's thighs."