EXCLUSIVE: Stuart Hazeldine has been tapped to rewrite Agincourt, which Michael Mann will direct based on the Bernard Cornwell bestseller about an archer who comes of age under Henry V as the king prepares to lead his outnumbered English troops against the French in the Battle Of Agincourt. That epic battle was immortalized by Shakespeare’s Henry V. The protagonist is a young man with a death sentence on his head who is saved when his skills with the bow catch the attention of the king. The archer develops into a warrior and falls in love with a young woman whose virtue he saved from a lecherous priest. He becomes the portal to the bloody battle.
Anyone who has seen Mann’s Last Of The Mohicans can understand my Eddie Haskell-like effusion over the prospect of the director getting back to a major historical battlefield event (“Stay alive, no matter what occurs. I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you.”) Ok, I’ve regained my composure. Anyway, previous script drafts were done by Michael Hirst and Benjamin Ross, and the film is being developed and produced by Luc Roeg’s Independent and Mann’s Forward Pass. Hazeldine takes the job after scripting Gods And Kings, the Moses biopic at Warner Bros that Steven Spielberg circled. He also scripted the primary draft of Paradise Lost for Legendary Pictures, an ambitious film which got unplugged over a high budget.
Mann is currently in pre-production on an untitled feature film about cyber crime for Legendary Pictures. That picture will star Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis. Mann will direct from a script he co-wrote with Morgan Foehl. Mann has been developing the project for over a year and is scheduled to begin principal photography in June. Hazeldine is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment and Rick Genow. Mann’s repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has made a whopping deal to acquire screen rights to Unholy Night, the new novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. Grahame-Smith will write the script, and he and KatzSmith partner David Katzenberg will produce with Heyday Films’ David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. I’ve heard that the deal is in the vicinity of $2 million upfront for the rights to the book and for Grahame-Smith to adapt it. The studio got first look at the book, as both KatzSmith and Heyday are based at Warner Bros. That is where Heyman produced the Harry Potter film series and where Grahame-Smith scripted the Tim Burton-directed Dark Shadows. Unholy Night, an action/adventure surrounding the Three Wise Men of the Nativity, will be published in April by Grand Central.
Setting up a film based around the birth of Jesus Christ gives Warner Bros its third high-profile movie based on a seminal religious story. The studio has been discussing the possibility of Steven Spielberg directing Gods And Kings, an epic-sized film about the life of Moses scripted by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. And Warner Bros recently set up a project being scripted by Joe Eszterhas and Mel Gibson (who has first option to direct) about the heroic story of Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee, who teamed with his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that had conquered Judea in the second century B.C. Maccabee’s triumph and struggle against tyranny and oppression where people gave their lives so that others would be free to worship is celebrated by Jews all over the world through Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Read More »
Here’s an interesting one to ponder on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Warner Bros is courting Steven Spielberg to direct Gods and Kings, an epic-sized film about life of Moses. There haven’t been formal meetings yet, but Spielberg has read the script by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. Getting Spielberg is a long shot on any film because his deal is complex, his dance card is always full, and Warner Bros would have to be willing to share the picture with DreamWorks. Still, I’ve heard there will be a discussion. Gods and Kings covers the life of Moses from birth to death. In between, there is his awakening to the plight of the Hebrew slaves that led Moses’ struggle against the Pharaoh for their freedom out of Egypt; the Ten Plagues; the Burning Bush; the daring escape across the Red Sea; receiving the Ten Commandments, and delivery to Israel. The film is not a Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures is negotiating with Benjamin Walker to play the archangel Michael in Paradise Lost, the action epic battle between good and evil that is inspired by the John Milton poem. Walker, who just wrapped the title role in Abraham … Read More »