Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Denzel Washington as Hannibal Barca?

PUNIC WATCH MEETS CINEMA: Denzel Washington reunites with director Antoine Fuqua to play Carthaginian warrior Hannibal in a new Netflix action epic (Brian Gallagher, Daily Mail).
Now Washington and Fuqua are coming together again for Hannibal, with Washington playing the commander of Carthage forces during the Second Punic War between 183 and 181 BC, via Deadline.

Fuqua will direct from a script by John Logan (Gladiator), with this project coming together 20 years after Washington first wanted to play Hannibal, considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military minds of all time.


Vin Diesel has been working on a Hannibal movie for many years. I first noted his plan in 2005. But he is not mentioned as associated with this production. This is the first I have heard of Antoine Fuqua being involved.

Denzel Washington has been prospectively connected with the Hannibal film in the role Hannibal himself or as his father, Hamilcar Barca. Washington is currently 68, older than Hannibal when he died, long after the Second Punic War (and much older than Hamilcar when he died).

The date for the war quoted above is wrong. Carthage declared the Second Punic War in 218 BCE. Hannibal famously crossed the Alps and won his first victory against Rome at the Battle of Trebia in that year. The war concluded with the decisive defeat of Hannibal at the Battle of Zama in 202 BCE.

The Mail article seems to have confused Hannibal's date of death (in his mid-60s) with the date of the war. Hannibal fought the war from his late-twenties to his mid-forties, so the casting of Washington now seems a bit surprising. But perhaps we should not underestimate Hollywood CGI rejuvenation potential.

For many other PaleoJudaica posts on Hannibal Barca and his role in the Second Punic War, start here and follow the links.

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