Gladiator Screenwriter William Nicholson to Write 1066

January 28, 2009

William Nicholson

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?

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Reader Feedback - 6 Comments


i fear it may turn into the next Alexander.

Al on Jan 28, 2009


Good! it's about time for another high quality epic film. The last I can remember was "Kingdom of Heaven" not counting "Apocalypto" which for me was also epic

HectorN on Jan 28, 2009


Bring on the epics!! They've got my money.

dom on Jan 29, 2009


ah finally an historical epic. These are my favorite kind of movies. I actually thought Alexander was fairly good, although it was pretty weird

Scott McHenry on Jan 29, 2009


when is this coming to theatres?

Tah on Jan 30, 2009


1066': Lester's Harold Conquers Rivals. The battle hots up in the race to tell the epic tale of the great battle of Hastings, leaving several pretenders to the throne battered and bruised. With a quality script and high class retinue of cast and crew already attached, the producers of '1066' continue to crush the opposition. "We are the vanguard on this topic, and pride ourselves on being the ambassadors for what is arguably one of the most important conflicts in human history. We have seen a massive surge in interest in '1066' from the public and industry alike, the hits on our websites are at record levels and our myspace site is attracting hundreds of new recruits from around the world daily" says Robin Jacob Director and co writer of 1066. "They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and it is very satisfying to know that we have inspired so many people with '1066', there has been global coverage of the subject, some excellent and some very poor indeed, just PR puff pieces masquerading as news, surprisingly the worst offender was a globally respected British National newspaper renowned for its accuracy, but that’s show business!" With the recent announcement that Felix Lester will play alongside his father Oliver star Mark Lester as Harold's son Godwin, the project has also attached Ian Whyte (alien Vs Predator) as King Hardrada and Martin Klebba diminutive star of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as Turold man servant to William Duke of Normandy. But who else do the producers have in their sights? "That is an interesting question and one that we have tried to avoid" says Jacob " With so many powerful and charismatic roles to fill the list would be pretty extensive, there is some incredible talent out there who like to be challenged, enjoy taking risks and have a true understanding of the real purpose of filmmaking, we are working hard to penetrate the 'firewall' that surrounds them and to do so we must avoid some of the more unscrupulous PR tactics that others may employ to retain our credibility with both the talent and their agents, at the end of the day we have a powerful historically accurate script that has and will do the talking for us." The impressive list of technical attachments includes Peter Hannon who has taken the role of 2nd Unit Cinematographer (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Gathering Storm) SFX Supervisor Ian Wingrove (Troy, AVP, Sleepy Hollow) Fight Director Anthony De Longis (Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull) and as Stunt Supervisor industry legend Rocky Taylor who's impressive CV contains amongst others 17 Bond movies, The Da Vinci Code and Titanic. What was the deciding factor that brought this talent to the project? "I guess it would have to be the epic nature of the story and the way in which we believe it should be told " Jacob continues "These guys are some of the best in the world, they bring with them years of experience and '1066' will allow them the freedom to use all the skills at their disposal, we want '1066' to be as 'real' as possible, we will limit the use of CGI and we will employ some of the traditional methods of film making that are slowly being lost to technology, for example we plan to use 10,000 live extras for the final battle scene, a huge undertaking but the story deserves to be told with authenticity at it's heart, it is after all one of the most important and influential battles in history." Please direct all enquiries to

lance on Jan 31, 2009

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