Gladiator Screenwriter William Nicholson to Write 1066
by Brandon Lee Tenney
January 28, 2009
The year 1066 is regarded as one of the most tumultuous years in English history, where control for England's throne was fought over by King Harold and William the Conqueror, culminating in the famous Battle of Hastings. William's victory and the subsequent Norman takeover stands to this day as the last hostile invasion of Great Britain. And to adapt this historical showdown and epic confrontation to the screen is none other than William Nicholson, most renowned for his work co-writing the Gladiator screenplay back in 2000. Will he apply the same formula yet again to 1066 that worked so well for Gladiator?
Nicholson's script will focus on the comradeship between King Harold and William and their turn to deadly rivalry. Shine Pictures has fast-tracked the project and is believed to be in talks with a number of high-profile candidates for the pivotal lead roles. Whomever becomes involved, I'd say there's a sure chance that this will be full-on Oscar bait. As we saw just this past year and throughout this award season with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and its screenwriter Eric Roth, certain formulas resonate with critics and audiences alike -- even if if that formula is used by the same writer tackling many of the same themes.
With 1066, it's looking like Nicholson will be doing just that -- a certain comradeship poisoned by the allure of power, moral righteousness, and the pursuit of the underdog all set amidst an epic landscape of history. It worked with Gladiator and got him an Oscar nomination. Will Nicholson make it work in 1066?