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) was modified from an authentic Mesoamerican tale that was re-translated by Hilario Chi Canul, a professor of Maya, into the Yucatec Maya language for the film.



We started to talk about what to do next, but we specifically spent a lot of time on the action-chase genre of filmmaking.Gibson said they wanted to "shake up the stale action-adventure genre", which he felt was dominated by CGI, stock stories and shallow characters and to create a footchase that would "feel like a car chase that just keeps turning the screws." Gibson and Safinia were also interested in portraying and exploring an ancient culture as it existed before the arrival of the Europeans.Considering both the Aztecs and the Maya, they eventually chose the Maya for their high sophistication and their eventual decline. You can choose a civilization that is bloodthirsty, or you can show the Maya civilization that was so sophisticated with an immense knowledge of medicine, science, archaeology and engineering ...Those conversations essentially grew into the skeleton of ('Apocalypto').

We wanted to update the chase genre by, in fact, not updating it with technology or machinery but stripping it down to its most intense form, which is a man running for his life, and at the same time getting back to something that matters to him.

Similar to Gibson's earlier film The Passion of the Christ, all dialogue is in a modern approximation of the ancient language of the setting.