Vin Diesel is following Mel Gibson's example by using ancient languages to tell the story of HANNIBAL THE CONQUEROR.

The XXX star starts work on the epic later this year (04) and his studies have led him to believe that the character was a multi-lingual communicator in ancient tongues - something he's keen to master.

Diesel was encouraged to use ancient tongues to tell the story of Hannibal after watching Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ, which featured Aramaic with subtitles.

He explains, "First of all, in ancient times, they're all speaking Greek and Italian, obviously, but there was also an ancient version of French for the Gaul, an old ancient Latin for Spain, and a Carthaginian-based language that I may use a Maltese language for.

"All that is in service of speaking to Hannibal. One of his greatest attributes was that he was able to amass a multi-lingual army of all these broken people to defy tyranny at the time."

09/06/2004 21:30