The life of the ancient Macedonian general and ruler Alexander the Great is the subject of the epic historical drama film Alexander, released in 2004.
Oliver Stone helmed the film, which featured Colin Farrell in the lead role. The film’s original screenplay was inspired, in part, by Robin Lane Fox’s 1973 history book Alexander the Great, which she wrote while a student at Oxford.
While it was a commercial success in Europe after its premiere, critics in the United States were not as enthusiastic. With a budget of $155 million and a worldwide total of only $167 million, the film was a financial bust.
Aside from the original theatrical release, three more director’s cuts were released on home video: the “Director’s Cut” in 2005, the “Final Cut” in 2007, and the “Ultimate Cut” in 2013.
In the United States alone, nearly 3.5 million copies of the “director’s cut” and the theatrical editions of the DVD of Alexander have been sold. Almost a million copies of Oliver Stone’s Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut (2007) were sold, making it one of Warner Bros. (as of 2012).
Alexander Movie Plot
Ptolemy I Soter, who serves as the film’s narrator, sets the scene in 285 BC. When he is young, Alexander lives with his mother Olympias, and his teacher Aristotle, where he learns about and develops a passion for love, honor, music, exploration, poetry, and military warfare.
As a result of Philip II of Macedon marrying Attalus’s niece Eurydice, Attalus’s relationship with his father is severely strained. As a result of Alexander’s insult to Philip, the latter orders that Alexander is expelled from the palace. Alexander had disowned Attalus as a kinsman.
Alexander becomes King of Macedon after Philip is killed. Ptolemy begins his account of Alexander’s eight-year campaign across Asia by mentioning Alexander’s punitive campaign in which he razes Thebes and alludes to the later burning of Persepolis.
From there, he provides an overview of Alexander’s west-Persian campaign, including his declaration as the son of Zeus by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis.
Alexander’s friendship with Hephaestion, his bond with Bagoas, and his marriage to Roxana are all on display. Alexander, in response to Hephaestion’s comparison of him to Achilles, suggests that Hephaestion must be his Patroclus (Achilles’ lover).
Hephaestion reveals that Patroclus passed away before him, and Alexander promises that if Hephaestion passes away first, he will join him in the afterlife (as Achilles had done for Patroclus).
After Alexander murders Cleitus the Black in India, Hephaestion becomes highly envious of him and his relationship with Roxana. He goes to great lengths to prevent Alexander from marrying her.
Alexander rallies his troops to fight at the Battle of Hydaspes, despite their early reluctance to do so. The arrow gravely wounds him, but he recovers and becomes a hero. Later on, Hephaestion dies of an unspecified sickness, maybe typhus brought back from India by chance or poison.
As Alexander mourns and rages at the death of Hephaestion, he grows distant from his pregnant wife. Less than three months after Hephaestion’s death, he passes away in the same way. Bagoas weeps on his deathbed as his realm is divided by Alexander’s generals and his body is contested as their prize.
The narrative then shifts back in time to 285 BC, where Ptolemy confesses to his scribe that he and the other commanders did, in fact, poison Alexander in order to protect themselves from any future conquests or penalties.
However, he notes that Alexander died from an illness that exacerbated his overall frailty. After finishing his memoirs, he gives Alexander high marks.
At the end of the film, it is revealed that the Library of Alexandria was destroyed in a fire, taking with it Ptolemy’s memoirs of Alexander.
Alexander Movie Cast
- Like Alexander, Colin Farrell is brilliant.
- Alex and Jessie Kamm when they were kids
- Young Alexander is played by Connor Paolo.
- Queen Olympias, played by Angelina Jolie
- In this film, Val Kilmer plays King Philip II.
- Featuring Anthony Hopkins as the venerable Ptolemy
- It features Elliot Cowan in his adult role as Ptolemy.
- Young Ptolemy, played by Robert Earley
- A Hephaestion played by Jared Leto
- Young Hephaestion is played by Patrick Carroll.
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- Roxana, played by Rosario Dawson
- The Great Philosopher, played by Christopher Plummer
- Cadmus, played by David Bedella
- Registered nurse Fiona O’Shaughnessy
- Wrestling coach Brian Blessed
- Cleitus the Black (Gary Stretch)
- Parmenion, played by John Kavanagh
- Attalus, played by Nick Dunning
- As Eurydice, Marie Meyer
- With Mick Lally in the role of a horse dealer
- Joe Morgan as Philotas in “The Merchant of Venice”
- To play Antigonus, we have Ian Beattie.
- Cassander, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers
- The youthful Cassander, played by Morgan Christopher Ferris
- Nearchus, portrayed by Denis Conway
- Young Nearchus is played by Peter Williamson.
- Perdiccas, played by Neil Jackson
- Young Perdiccas, played by Aleczander Gordon
- Leonnatus is portrayed by Garrett Lombard.
- To play Polyperchon, Chris Aberdein steps into the spotlight.
- As Craterus, Rory McCann
- Ominous-sign-reader Tim Pigott-Smith
- Playing Darius, we have Raz Degan.
- Cast as the Persian prince, Erol Sander
- Commander of the Bactrians (and portrayed by Stéphane Ferrara) Bessus
- As a dying soldier, Tadhg Murphy
- To cast Francisco Bosch as Bagoas
- Stateira, played by Annelise Hesme
- Pausanias of Orestis, played by Toby Kebbell
- The Greek officer, played by Laird Macintosh
- Casting Féodor Atkine as Roxana’s father
- As King Porus of India, Bin Bunluerit
- Cast as the Indian royal, Jadran Ngramdee
- Dr. Brian McGrath
- Uncredited Oliver Stone as a Macedonian soldier at the Statue of Zeus
Alexander Movie Trailer
With a budget of $155 million and a worldwide total of $167 million, the film was a financial bust. Three director’s cuts were released on home video: “Director’s Cut,” “Final Cut” and “Ultimate Cut”. He dies of an unspecified sickness, maybe typhus brought back from India by chance or poison.
In 285 BC, Ptolemy confesses to his scribe that he and other commanders did, in fact, poison Alexander. Angelina Jolie plays Olympias and Val Kilmer plays King Philip II.