Posted by Sean Gallen @seangallen
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

Since the dawn of time, man has attempted to stave off aging and thus escape death to remain forever young. Out of the countless civilizations that have tried to fight aging, only Hollywood has managed to find a formula to keep its stars shining bright forever. Male stars can keep saving the world well into their 60s; kicking ass, hiding their wrinkles and saving female co-stars half their age.

The finest example of this fox-like evasion of aging is #TomCruise. The 56-year-old actor has made a permanent switch to action films over the last ten years, proving he can still run, jump and kick ass as good as the new action stars. But Tommy can't run away from aging forever or can he?

Cruise's next project suggests that he is embracing aging with the help of an absurd sense of humor. The legendary actor will take on the role of #Methuselah, the 969 wise man and grandfather to Noah in the Bible. They say the oldest stories are the best, so Cruise's choice isn't as crazy as it seems. We're going to dig up the ancient legend of Methuselah and discuss the Biblical character behind what will surely be one of the biggest and strangest blockbusters of 2018.

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The Film Version Of Methuselah

Tom Cruise will be teaming up with Joachim Rønning (#PotC: Salazar's Revenge) to bring the creaking bones of the ancient Biblical figure to life. It's hard to tell this early on just exactly how much of this bat-shit crazy project will actually focus on the Old Testament but Cruise is set to play the almost-1000 year old protagonist who ages at a snails pace and wanders the world.

The nomad receives a constant education as he travels; in science, philosophy and most importantly survival and ass-kicking. Although he is somewhat immortal, the Hollywood version will be a rugged survivalist — think Bear Grylls with severe arthritis — who may have to practice patience for his wounds to heal like #Wolverine. It is uncertain who his enemies will be as there weren't many folk around during Methusela's time but perhaps he'll be dueling with the devil.

Check out how Anthony Hopkins prepared for the role of Methuselah in Noah:

The Biblical Version Of Methuselah

Methuselah is briefly mentioned in different books and gospels but its hard to draw a clear picture due to the contradictory accounts. From what we can gather, he was a vital link in the genealogy of the first humans on Earth.

Stained-glass interpretation of Methuselah in Cantebury Cathedral
Stained-glass interpretation of Methuselah in Cantebury Cathedral

As the great grandson of Adam and the grandfather of Noah, Methuselah provided the essential lessons learned from the early days of humanity and imparted them before God purged the Earth in the great flood.

Methuselah following Christ in "Christ Leading the Patriarchs to Paradise" by Bartolomé Bermejo
Methuselah following Christ in "Christ Leading the Patriarchs to Paradise" by Bartolomé Bermejo

Far from being an action hero, the ancient teacher spent most of his life as a conduit of holy information. That being said, in the book of Enoch, Methuselah is reported to have a devastating weapon (the sword of Methuselah) that can destroy demons and evil spirits. Maybe there's a little warrior in him after all.

How Old Was He?

Literal Translation

Like all religious texts, the Bible has been interpreted in myriad ways and there are some who take Methuselah's age literally. The explanation for such a long life? Healthy living and somebody up there liked him.

[Credit: Conversant Faith]
[Credit: Conversant Faith]

Some believe that early humans had the most nutritional diet and were safe from radiation thanks to the Earth's healthy atmosphere. Also, humans were entrusted with everlasting life until Adam and Eve's original sin. As a punishment God reduced the life span of humans gradually, generation by generation.

Mistranslation

Other scholars believe that the reported age of the elder wise man was poorly translated into Latin and the 969 solar years were actually lunar months which would make him roughly 78.5 years old. Still to old to be running away from explosions, or is it?

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

Whether or not #WarnerBros. will stick to the Bible's depiction of the ancient one, the idea of Tom Cruise running through the empty plains of early Earth, killing swarms of demons and getting the girl half his age still seems bewildering. We'll have to wait for the final draft of the script to be finished to learn more about the story but it seems that Cruise has discovered that the secret to fighting aging is to become a holy messenger.

Poll

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