Columbia Pictures Making Epic Anabasis

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Columbia Pictures has acquired a pitch for an adaptation of “Anabasis,” a memoir written around 400 B.C. by Xenophon, a Greek soldier who was among 10,000 elite mercenaries who attacked the Persian Empire and who led them back through hostile terrain after their leader was betrayed and slain.

Variety says the script will be written by Robert Schenkkan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who just served as writer and co-producer on HBO miniseries “The Pacific.” Jimmy Miller will team with Robbie and Jonathan Stamp to produce under Miller’s Sony-based Mosaic.

“Anabasis” is an ancient work written right after Xenophon’s ordeal. Sony Pictures chairman-CEO Michael Lynton and Schenkkan both had read the book in college and sparked to the tale. The success of “300” also helped.

“Crazy tribes, brutal terrain, vicious combat, hellacious weather — ‘Anabasis’ is full of astounding endurance and heroism,” said Jonathan Sharp.