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A 5,000-Year-Old Murder Mystery Is Being Turned into a Movie

If we exclude stories from the Bible, what is the oldest true story to be made into a movie? There are prehistoric tales adapted from archeological knowledge, but “Otzi the Iceman” might turn out to be the earliest real person to receive a biopic.

He lived in the Austrian Alps about 5,300 years ago and wound up so well preserved for the past five millennia that scientists have been able to construct a narrative of his life and, more surely, his death. His mummified remains show injuries that hint that he was in fact murdered.

The movie about him is, according to The Hollywood Reporter, called Revenge – The Story of Iceman (the foreign title Rache, which is German for “revenge”). And of course it is a speculative, fictionalized tale but will be based on as much factual data as is possible to create entertainment out of the known circumstances. The script is written by Felix Randau, who is also directing, and Jurgen Vogel (Good Bye Lenin!) is starring as Otzi.

Spaghetti Western icon Franco Nero (Django) has also been cast, presumably as his killer. And Susanne Wuest (Goodnight Mommy) plays Otzi’s wife, who along with their children are found murdered after the ancient man returns from a hunt. There’s also a holy amulet missing.

Although mostly made up, it’s fittingly a plot as old as time. Because of the harsh wintry conditions, though, it does sound somewhat reminiscent of recent Oscar winner The Revenant. Spoiler alert: the one part of the tale that seems most accurate is that Otzi dies at the end of it.

Revenge – The Story of Icemanis currently in production and is due out sometime in 2017.

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