The inhabitants of development hell stalk Hollywood. There are a dozen failed productions, unworkable scripts, and expensive vanity projects for every film that is made and released. These movies occasionally defy the odds and manage to be produced and released, such as the blockbuster science fiction movie “Avatar.” In other instances, such as the infamous “Dune” adaptation by Alejandro Jodorowsky, concepts and production art were reused across the industry to great success. Numerous others are merely canceled. Not every film project, however, is afforded the gift of closure. There are people whose potential trembles in the air like storm clouds. They enter and exit the discourse infrequently until their presence appears absurd and unimportant.However, there are still enough unknowns that they cannot be completely ruled out.
You might be familiar with Vin Diesel from his roles in the wildly popular “Fast and Furious” movies, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” flicks where he voiced Groot, and his love of “Dungeons and Dragons.” But his greatest dream is still unfulfilled. There have been rumors about Diesel’s movie trilogy for the past 20 years. He aspires to take on the role of Hannibal Barca, who during the Second Punic War rode an elephant across the Andes to lead an army against Rome. A guy who came the closest to destroying the Roman Empire of any man in history.
Hannibal the conqueror
His time’s historians claim that Hannibal was forced to take an oath before his father when he was a little child so that he would always oppose Rome and its goals. At the age of 26, he advanced to the position of supreme commander of the Carthaginian army. The Second Punic War broke out as a result of an assault on the Iberian city of Sagantum in the years that followed. To carry the battle to Rome, Hannibal led an army of tens of thousands (along with more than thirty elephants) across the Alps. In the Battle of Cannae, when he famously killed about 1 in 5 Roman soldiers, he kept a fighting force that was powerful enough to completely destroy the Roman army on the battlefield.Despite these victories, Hannibal’s army opted to defend and entrench rather than capitalize on their position. As a result of Carthage’s lack of support, the army finally shriveled away. Hannibal made the decision to take his own life rather than fall into the hands of his adversaries after all avenues for destroying the Roman Empire had been eliminated.
The central event in the narrative of Hannibal Barca is a lengthy march across the mountains. In addition to animating the actions of thousands of soldiers, the special effects team would also need to create plausible computer-generated elephants or, even more ridiculously, track down and train several genuine elephants.It would be a very expensive production that was at least as grandiose as the “Lord of the Rings” movies, but because of the whims of history, it would have to have a tragic conclusion. Not to add that, unlike with “The Illiad,” there is no “Hannibal book” that curious readers can purchase in bookstores. The history is the only thing available, and while it is undoubtedly thrilling and action-packed, it is also spread out among numerous source materials and contradictory stories.
You have not directed enough
So even a seasoned director would find it difficult to complete the Hannibal trilogy. But let’s not write off Vin Diesel outright. Before he and his team produced “The Lord of the Rings” to the big screen, Peter Jackson was best known for making inexpensive but entertaining horror comedies like “Braindead.” Diesel is also a director; Steven Spielberg chose to put him in “Saving Private Ryan” after seeing his short film “Multi-Facial.” In a 2021 interview with Men’s Health, Spielberg claimed that he would lend him the camera while he was filming so that he could get experience.Years later, Spielberg allegedly told Diesel, “I was secretly championing the filmmaker in you, and you have not directed enough,” according to Diesel.
For Vin Diesel, producing the Hannibal Barca trilogy counts as directing. In an interview with The National, he claims that “God,” specifically, “you promised the universe the Hannibal Barca trilogy, and you haven’t delivered.” In a 2003 IGN interview, Diesel discussed his efforts to “channel the character.” A few years later, it was revealed that he would be working with BET Networks to produce the animated series “Hannibal the Conqueror.” The same initiative, along with BET officially, would be casually mocked in a notorious episode of “The Boondocks.”Both live-action and animated films have yet to be released as of 2022, despite Diesel’s 2008 Blackfilm.com interview when he hinted to a “animated Hannibal prequel.”
The largest African elephant in America
There are currently few details available on Vin Diesel’s plans to produce a trilogy of Hannibal films, if at all. The information that is available is fascinating. He visited Spain, Egypt, and Tunisia for training, as revealed in the aforementioned IGN interview. We are aware that in 2003, he erected a “Hannibal tent” in his property. He accepted his role in the next “Avatar: Way of Water” in order to study under James Cameron, the master of the epic movie, as revealed in an interview with USA Today. Most importantly, we are aware of the significance of the elephants in Hannibal Barca’s tale for him.In the IGN interview, he talks about making the trek to see Chris Gallalucci, who lives two hours outside of Los Angeles and owns “the largest African elephant in America.”
The career of Vin Diesel is an intriguing blend of enormous success and extremely personal mistakes. On the one side, there is the “Fast and Furious” film series, where Vin Diesel plays the role of the kingpin. The other is “The Last Witch Hunter,” a box office failure that openly takes inspiration from Vin Diesel’s “Dungeons and Dragons” character. The depiction of Diesel as a rebel who battles the establishment to defend those dear to him is what ties these two films together. The persona of Hannibal Barca would be a logical progression in that regard.To the very end, Hannibal confronts the Roman Empire. He uses careful planning and unwavering willpower to complete seemingly difficult tasks. Even though his cause finally fails, he believes in its righteousness to the end.
A promise to the universe
Vin Diesel going out of his way to find genuine elephants while filming “Hannibal” is telling, in my opinion. He might have known that actual elephants wouldn’t do; computer-generated elephants might. Riding atop the real thing would be the only way to experience what it would be like to be Hannibal and to channel his essence. Vin Diesel is a nerd with a history of role-playing interests. A portion of the fascination of the Hannibal story is undoubtedly its grand-scale logistical foundation. However, for many people I know, the imagination of playing a role has always taken precedence than the math involved in Dungeons & Dragons.Whether Diesel and his team successfully explain to their audience what it’s like to travel through the mountains on an elephant will likely determine whether or not a Hannibal trilogy is successful.
Though Hannibal passed away without realizing his goals, history still remembers him as a mythical person who did feats that many people thought were inconceivable. Vin Diesel transformed during the course of his career from a movie director to one of Hollywood’s most well-known performers. He will soon be older than Hannibal was when he committed suicide. Time will tell if Diesel allows Hannibal’s vision to die or if elephants return from the mountains to rumble through Hollywood.