Let's see...Walls of Troy, Apollo's Temple, Trojan Horse. Sounds sort of epic. ''Troy,'' based on no less a literary source than Homer's ''The Iliad,'' is appropriately massive, featuring a shoot that lasted five months in London, Malta, and Mexico; a budget of more than $150 million; and Brad Pitt in his first starring role in three years, as fated warrior Achilles. ''It's one of the great stories -- so many stories are children of this story,'' Pitt says. ''Those Greeks, they love a tragedy.''
Some Cliffs notes: Young Paris (Orlando Bloom) seduces the famously beautiful Helen (Diane Kruger) away from her husband, King Menelaus of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson). Menelaus misses that face, and launches a thousand ships -- led by the mercenary Achilles -- on Troy to bring her back. Sworn to uphold Troy is Prince Hector, played by Eric Bana (''The Hulk''), who underwent months of training in fighting and horse riding. ''You couldn't have bluffed your way through,'' Bana says. ''It takes a lot of bloody arrogance even with six months' preparation.''While the Greeks love their tragedy, one hopes they also dig irony. Director Wolfgang Petersen endured plenty, including a Mexican hurricane that destroyed the supposedly impenetrable gates of Troy, and an injury to his star that was overly appropriate. ''Oh, man, I don't even want to tell you,'' says Pitt of the blow that postponed his climactic battle with Bana for months. ''I tweaked my Achilles.''