"Arena" Pits Best Against Best, Fights Deja Vu

Illustration for article titled "Arena" Pits Best Against Best, Fights Deja Vu

Today's finest soldiers kidnapped through time and space to a battleground where they have to fight the greatest warriors of all time in a vicious unforgiving battle to the death? The pitch for newly announced movie Arena may be basic, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we haven't seen it before, and fairly recently.


Arena, which will be produced by Michael Clayton studio Summit Entertainment and production company Benderspink, plans to take a familiar idea and make it... well, pretty much what you'd expect but with a better budget, if Variety's write-up is anything to go by:

[The s]tory centers on a group of modern-day soldiers who are mysteriously transported from the thick of battle to a terrain-shifting landscape where they must fight the best warriors of all different eras and histories in a gladiatorial fight to the death — or be killed by the all-powerful operators of the "Arena."

Would one of those operators be called Monarch, by any chance? The similarities to last year's DC series of... well, almost an identical name, really, Countdown: Arena, seem somewhat obvious; that series also featured heroes and villains from across time and multiple Earths brought together by a mysterious force in order to fight gladatorial games to the death. And even that series was a rip-off of Marvel's Secret Wars and Contest of Champions series... Which were, in turn, pretty much old Star Trek plots. Will this spate of unoriginality never cease?

Summit enters 'Arena' [Variety]


Jack B. Quick

Meh, I'm not going to dignify the culmination of unoriginality with a discussion of how the criticism on the lack of creativity itself is a lack of creativity, but I WILL continue to whine until something really cool and new-thinking comes onto the scene. That said, there is certainly stuff out there that rehash the known clichés in fresh and interesting directions; OTTMH, Judd Apatow reenvisioned the inane loser-genre with a style that made it appealing (at least to me).

This does not sound like that sort of thing, it sounds more like a "How can we make epic battles even more epic and big booms into bigger booms?" ploy. Though I might be wrong, and it would please me to no end to find this film actually breaking all boundaries of established conventions.

Also, of course I know that a cliché is a tried-and-tested formula of something that works, which is why big-budget flicks continue in the same trend, and that is the same reason the bicthing and moaning of people like me does likewise. In other words, I realize I contribute to going in circles myself, but refuse to think about it :-P