Julius Ceasar was supposedly warned that something bad would happen to him prior to or on
“the Ides of March” — aka March 15, an ancient Roman term believed to have heralded a new moon and dedicated to the god Mars. Hence William Shakespeare’s whole “Beware the Ides of March” line in the play “Julius Ceasar.” Turns out it was good, if useless, advice. On March 15, 44 B.C., the Roman ruler was stabbed 23 times in the Roman senate.
In case you don’t remember, here’s a reasonable facsimile from HBO’s awesome, yet sadly gone, drama “Rome”:
For George Clooney, however, “Ides of March” — the movie he’s directing and starring in about an “idealistic campaign staffer who gets a crash course on dirty politics” — will likely bring better fortune in the form of critical acclaim and box office returns.
The movie boasts a heavyweight cast — Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright — and is tentatively set for an October release.
Since Shakespeare’s “Julius Ceasar,” the date has been a pop culture inspiration not just for Clooney, but for entities as diverse as Iron Maiden (“Ides of March” is the first song on thier “Killers” album) and “The Simpsons” (in the episode “Homer the Great,” Lisa warns Homer to “Beware the Ides of March.”
And, hey, since it has absolutely nothing to do with the above-referenced “Simpsons” episode, watch this clip of “The Stonecutters Song.” Think of it as your “Ides of March” gift from us: