Tom Weaver, a one-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is a has-been. Heís spent his money, squandered his fame, and now finds himself being dropped from his publisher by a young hotshot executive half his age. In an attempt to escape the doldrums of his life, he sets off to Greece to find some peace and write the best novel everÖbut what he finds is stranger than he could have ever imagined.
After nearly drowning trying to get to the remote island of Aricia, Tom is attacked as he approaches an ancient villa. Bewildered, Tom fights off the attack and in doing so accidentally kills his assailant.
Curiously, the local villagers are delighted at the news. Meanwhile the body has mysteriously vanished. The village leader, Xanthos, invites Tom to stay in the villa.
Tom meets the beautiful and exotic Gaia, who seems to work in the villa. Over the course of the next couple of days, Tom is threatened and pushed into strange tests and rituals. All of which he passes.
When Tom magically brings rain to the drought wracked island, the villagers go into a frenzied state of ecstasy and Tom is regarded as royalty, a Priest God.
Tom consummates his desire for Gaia, who seems to hold the key to the mysteries of the island, but things get deadly again, when another stranger comes to kill him.
Finally Gaia explains the terrifying myth that the islanders live by:
The Priest of the island is a sort of natural God.
But the only way of becoming the Priest is by killing the previous Priest.
And whoever holds the Priesthood is constantly open to be killed by a newcomer.
Itís survival of the fittest in its purest form.
Tom decides to take on Fate -- to remain on the island -- and his life is changed in miraculous ways. The novel, his love life, his body and soulÖ
Until the crops begin to fail. Suddenly, the villagerís attitudes change and Tom realizes his life again hangs in the balance.
When two foreigners suddenly show up on the island, Tom knows his time is up. Torn by his love for Gaia, Tom makes a desperate attempt to escape the binds that the supernatural island holds on its people.
The film is deliberately written to be shot for a modest price but with a great epic feel and look, populated with rich and complex characters. As well as being scary and exciting, itís a thinking personís horror movie.
The film obviously offers a tremendous lead role that would attract a wide range of actors. It can plausibly be cast from the late 30ís to mid 50ís.
As the writers, director and the other principle creative team are UK citizens, the film would qualify for a UK Co-Production grant. The film works just as well with an English lead, either playing English or American. The other actors would be European.) Co-Productions with other countries like Germany, Italy or France could increase the grant monies.