Movie magic is not just mesmerizing visual effects and loud music — it is simply telling a story.
Storytelling can be magical and engaging, but what better stories to tell than the ones that have happened in the past?
1. The life of Hannibal
No, not the serial killer. Hannibal Barca was one of the greatest military commanders and strategists in history. He took an entire army and war elephants from Iberia through the Alps and into Italy to fight the Roman army in 218 BC. He was successful and occupied much of Italy for 15 years.
“Either Dwayne Johnson or Vin Diesel would be an excellent Hannibal,” said Dr. Eric Brook, associate professor of history and humanities.
2. Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés was the Spanish conquistador who led the first phase of the Spanish expedition of the Americas, which led to the fall of the Aztec Empire. A film about Cortés would tell the story of his arrival in Central America and give audiences a perspective from the point of view of the native Central Americans in addition to the perspectives of the conquistadors.
3. World War II exiles
A story telling the trials of Holocaust refugees from Nazi Germany who took shelter in Pacific Palisades, California, in 1941. This house was the new home for cultural critics and philosophers, including famous sociologist Theodor Adorno.
“I think Liam Neeson would be good as Theodor Adorno, but Anthony Hopkins might be better because he looks like him,” said Michael Eaton, associate professor of film studies and film production.
4. The early Christians
“I would really like to see a film about the persecution of the early Christians and how brave they were,” Eaton said. “I think that would be really interesting for a movie.”
The rise of Christianity took place during the height of the Roman Empire in 64 A.D. A film on the early Christians could include Nero, the infamous emperor who first persecuted Christians, and Constantine, the first Roman emperor to publicly convert to Christianity.
5. The first and only empress of China
Wu Zetian, the first empress of China, reigned in the Tang Dynasty from 655-683 AD. Wu Zetian was one of the first women to hold such high status and also lead a country. She is a role model for both women and men and is an important figure in human history.