Some of the greatest, Hollywood movies ever made are based on mythology.
A prime example is the Marvel Cinematic Universe when they created Thor and The Avengers franchise. But there many more movies based on legends and myths.
Some of the films we will include on our list might even shock you!
We’ll include movies that take inspiration from Norse, Greek, and Roman mythology.
These are the 10 top 10 Hollywood movies based on mythology.
1. Clash of the Titans (2010)
If you want a movie that describes the many
gods, goddesses, and heroes of Greek mythology, then Clash of the Titans (2010) has what you’re looking for.
Clash of the Titans describes the story of Perseus as he discovers his past, fights the Kraken, and rescues Andromeda.
The movie includes the myth of Medusa, giant scorpions, and a trio of witches. It’s a great depiction of Greek mythology that pertains to Perseus and his quest to slay Medusa.
Greek heroes, gods, goddesses, and mythical creatures all show up in this 2010 Greek mythology film.
2. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
This is a movie that may surprise you that made our list of the best movies based on mythology.
This is because O Brother, Where Art Thou is based on Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, although it’s not obvious.
We will begin listing the similarities that you can find in The Odyssey.
The Greek hero Odysseus is on his epic journey back home from defeating the Trojans in the Battle of Troy in hopes of returning to his wife, Penelope. During his journey, Odysseus faces many difficult hurdles, such as a cyclops, sirens, and turbulent seas.
In O Brother, Where Art Thou, the main character is not named Odysseus, but instead, Ulysses “Everett” McGill, and instead of a journey home from Troy, Everett has escaped from prison.
Everett’s wife is Penny, rather than Penelope. However, Everett and his two accomplices faced a cyclops and sirens, just as Odysseus did in The Odyssey.
O Brother, Where Art Thou is one of the best movies based on Greek mythology because it is hidden, subtle, yet obvious.
If you didn’t know it was based on The Odyssey, you would probably think it was an entertaining movie based on a couple of southern fugitives on the run, but once you realize it is based on Homer’s The Odyssey, the parallels are unmistakable.
3. Hercules (1997)
Disney’s animated movie of Hercules is an entertaining illustration of the story of the Greek demi-god Hercules.
The beloved film tells the story of the Greek demi-god who uses his winged horse Pegasus to help him battle monsters, defeat Hades, and win back his wife, Meg.
The story of Hercules is one of tragedy, struggle, and bravery. A true Hero’s Journey.
Disney finds a great balance in making this story easy to understand and appropriate for all ages. There is comedy, drama, and action all compiled in this classic myth about one of the greatest Greek heroes of all time.
4. Wrath of the Titans (2012)
The sequel to Clash of the Titans, this movie tells the story of the years that
took place after Perseus beheaded Medusa.
In this movie based on Greek mythology, the gods were extremely weakened by the fact that the mortals had stopped praying to the gods for help.
The Titan god, Kronos, was the father of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon. When Kronos was overthrown by Zeus, they threw him in a Dungeness abyss.
Because the gods were losing their power, they were vulnerable to Kronos returning to the earth and overthrowing them.
In Wrath of the Titans, Ares, the Greek god of war, teams up with Kronos to overtake Zeus, to which the gods and Greek heroes must fight back.
5. Thor (2011)
Thor is the god of thunder and the most well-known deity in Norse mythology.
Without the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor and his myths may not be as well-known as they are today.
The script goes like this:
Thor is cast out of Asgard to live among the humans on Midgard, which is modern-day earth.
Thor has to protect both Earth and Asgard. He meets Jane, an earthly woman and they fall in love.
After many struggles and trials, he fulfills his duties and returns to Asgard victorious… but there’s a cost.
6. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Ragnarok is the end of times, the Apocalypse, for the Norse deities, cosmos, and mankind.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the planet Sakaar and must race against time to keep Ragnarok (the end of time) from destroying everything he knows and loves.
Thor has to team up with allies, both new and
old, to make sure that Ragnarok does not come to fruition.
7. Immortals (2011)
In the movie Immortals, King Hyperion in Greek mythology has declared war on humanity.
He is searching for the Epirus Bow, a powerful weapon that was made by Ares, the Greek god of war. The Greek King wants the powerful weapon because the person who holds the bow can release the Titans.
Possessing the bow would ensure that mankind would be destroyed by the Titans.
The gods cannot interfere with King Hyperion’s plans, but a Greek hero named Theseus changes the entire course. Theseus is secretly chosen by Zeus to save his people from King Hyperion in this eternal battle of good versus evil.
8. Troy (2004)
Based on Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, Troy is a movie based on Greek mythology that tells the story of the Trojan War, specifically the Battle of Troy.
Leading up to the Battle of Troy is the Trojan
hero, Paris, who convinces Helen of Sparta to leave her husband and sail back
with him to Troy. In an attempt to get his wife back, the king decides to
engage in a war against Troy, known as the Trojan War.
Troy depicts the epic last battle of the Trojan War, specifically the story
of Achilles, Hector, and Paris.
9. Ulysses (1954)
This classic film about the Greek hero Odysseus tells the story of Odysseus’s journey back home after the Trojan War.
Ulysses describes the turmoil that the resourceful cultural hero of Greece went through in his journey back home.
Ulysses had to win back his wife.
They had ordered her to remarry under the false pretense that her husband had died during the war or on his way home. Ulysses is a classic depiction of Homer’s second epic poem, The Odyssey.
10. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Jason and the Argonauts is one of the most
well-known myths in Greek mythology, and it is played out on the big screen in
the 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts.
In this myth, as well as the movie, Jason is
on a search for the golden fleece to bring back to King Pelias. In the quest,
Pelias hopes for Jason to perish so that Pelias can remain on the throne
without the threat of Jason to overthrow him.
In the myth, Jason is protected by Hera, the
Greek goddess of wisdom, and also accompanied by Hercules.
Mythology, whether Greek, Norse, Roman, Celtic, Irish, or Egyptian, makes for an action-filled movie to play out on the big screen.
Some of these movies are a literal play-by-play of the mythology they are based on. For example, Ulysses (1954) follows the story of Odysseus in Homer’s The Odyssey.
If you are looking for a movie that will follow a myth exact as it is written, movies like Ulysses, Clash of the Titans, and Wrath of the Titans play the Greek myths on screen as close to the myth as possible.
Other movies, like O Brother, Where Art Thou have a more subtle and unnoticeable approach to the myth they are based on.
It is a great example of taking an ancient myth and applying it to a modern-day scenario and having it all come together and make sense to the viewer.
Lastly, the Thor movies are a good combination of both ancient myth and modern
entertainment. Marvel Cinematic Universe does a great job of taking the ancient
Norse mythology and combining it with a modern-day feel.
Whether you want a movie that will take you
through the play-by-play of the myth it is based on, or if you enjoy a subtle
movie such as O Brother, Where Art Thou,
we feel that this list of 10 best movies based on mythology will give you
exactly what you’re looking for.