Oliver Stones Alexander is based on the true story of Alexander the Great, one of historys most luminous and influential leaders a man who had conquered 90% of the known world by the age of 25. Alexander led his virtually invincible Greek and Macedonian armies through 22,000 miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years, and by the time of his death at the age of 32 had forged an empire unlike any the world had ever seen.
His extraordinary journey began when Alexander launched his invasion from Macedonia, first leading his armies to wrest Western Asia from Persian control, then driving his vastly outnumbered troops to an impossible victory over the mighty Persian army itself. Alexander expanded his empire into the unknown lands of modern day Central Asia before venturing across the Himalayan foothills, further than any Westerner had ever gone, continuing his conquests all the way to the exotic world of India.
Incredibly, and possibly unique in the annals of military history, Alexander was never defeated in battle. He relentlessly pushed his army across the sands, mountains and jungles of strange and mysterious lands, conquering every enemy who dared oppose him. The film chronicles Alexanders path to becoming a living legend, from a youth fueled by dreams of myth, glory, and adventure, to his intense bonds with his closest companions, to his lonely death as a ruler of a vast Empire.
The beauty of Alexander is that he won, says Alexander director/screenwriter Oliver Stone. So many great people of history had bitter lives, but Alexander will always be known for at least two reasons that he conquered the world and never suffered military defeat, and as a visionary and a man of a remarkable and generous spirit. He was perhaps the greatest warrior of all time, greater than Achilles and Heracles. He grew up under the influence of these mythological Greek figures, he believed in them as no other child, and out of that belief and faith grew this monumental drive and destiny, which he achieved.
Alexanders accomplishments were astonishing by any standards. His empire included either partially or in their entirety lands that now comprise the countries of Greece, Albania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Egypt, Libya, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and India. In 323 BC, the year of his death, his territory comprised two million square miles.
Alexander has been the subject of an enormous body of written works, historical, fictional, psychological and even practical, as evidenced by a recently published book that translates his military strategy into a guide for modern businessmen.
There are a number of modern historians who have decided to take a dark view of Alexander, says noted Alexander the Great historian Robin Lane Fox, who served as historical consultant on the film. Thousands of people were killed in the course of Alexanders campaigns. These were not gentle times. But Oliver has powerfully dramatized the roots of Alexanders own ambitions, so that modern audiences can engage with the fascinating question of his personality, what it meant to follow him, to have risked their lives with him. Alexander had so many talents. Historians have sometimes found it hard to confront them, but unquestionably, he had a fantastic ability to lead men and to attract and retain more and more into his army including, significantly, from peoples who surrendered to him.
Born in late July of 356 BC, Alexander grew up in the royal palace of Pella, Macedonias capital. His father was King Philip II, a powerful and skilled military leader with an ambitious expansionist vision for his homeland. His mother was the Epirote princess Olympias, a vivid and passionate character who ardently worshiped Dionysus and was known to keep scores of snakes in her bedchambers. His parents had an extremely hostile and antagonistic relationship, and Alexander was often torn between them. Olympias fervently believed that her son had not actually been fathered by Philip, but by Zeus, king of the Greek Gods a story that Alexander himself often espoused throughout his lifetime. Alexander received an outstanding education, tutored by the great Greek philosopher and biologist Aristotle.