Most big budget, special effects-laden films these days exist as part of a larger franchise. Think about the blockbuster films from this past year: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Age of Ultron, Furious 7, Mockingjay Part 2, what do they all have in common? They're all sequels that exist within massive franchises. Star Wars, Marvel, The Hunger Games — these are all powerful brands whose large fanbases studios know they can rely on to show up in droves at the box office. Which makes it all the more surprising to see the upcoming release of the $140 million spectacle Gods of Egypt. The film isn't immediately recognizable as being part of some existing property, but it had to have come from somewhere. So is Gods of Egypt based on a book or something?
The movie is directed by Alex Proyas off of a script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. It's an original production, with no ties to any other movie, book, comic book, or anything else that blockbuster movies typically draw their inspiration from. But that doesn't mean the film's writers and director pulled their ideas from thin air. Since the movie is about the gods that were worshipped in Ancient Egypt, its characters and story are largely influenced by Egyptian mythology, especially two characters in particular.
The movie focuses on Horus, god of the sky, who is the rightful heir to the throne of Egypt, but is usurped after being defeated in battle and stripped of his eyes by the god of the desert, Set, who also murdered Horus's father, Osiris. Horus is then recruited to overthrow Set with the help of a mortal, Bok, who reunites him with one of his eyes as they go on an adventure to take down the rogue god. The main focus of the movie is on the battle for the throne between Horus and Set, which is inspired by a collection of myths known as The Contendings of Horus and Set .
The movie does get several parts right. In Egyptian mythology, Set did murder Osiris. He also tore out Horus's eye during a fight (just one though, not both), and the two did have bitter battles over the throne. However, there was no mortal named Bok involved in overthrowing Set, and the fights between Horus and Set were a lot more... unconventional... than what appears in the movie.
According to the myth, the two gods fought over the throne nonstop for over 80 years. Finally, they were called before the other gods to put an end to their quarreling. Set seemed to agree to a truce, and invited Horus to stay with him that night. Then, while Horus was sleeping, Set inserted his penis between Horus's thighs and ejaculated, believing that he had inseminated his nephew (super creepy uncle alert). But the clever Horus knew what he was up to, secretly caught the semen in his hand, and then tossed it into a marsh. Later, with the help of his mom Isis (though I don't really want to know how she helped), Horus ejaculated onto some lettuce that Set was going to eat. Set then ate the lettuce, with no knowledge of its special dressing, and then brought Horus before the other gods again.
Set made the claim that he had dominated Horus by inseminating him, and therefore he was the rightful heir to the throne. Horus said that wasn't true, and asked the gods to call out to Set's semen. They did, and Set's little guys answered from the marsh. Then Horus was like, "Hey, why don't you try calling my semen?" So the gods did, and Horus's semen, which had been eaten by Set, called out from Set's stomach. So Horus, obviously, was declared the winner of that battle.
I really hope the talking semen makes it into Gods of Egypt, but I think I'll probably have to wait for the directors cut for that one.
Images: Lionsgate, giphy.com