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William To Conquer The Big Screen
In new film about the battle of 1066

28 January 2009  |  Written by Emily Phillips  

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William the Conquerer and King Harold are set for the big screen in the first ever cinematic exploration of the Norman conquest of  England in 1066.

The script, currently being penned by historical epic script-monger extraordinaire William Nicholson (Gladiator, Elizabeth: The Golden Age), focuses on the relationship between the two great warriors of the age. King Harold of England  and William The Conqueror were initially comrades, becoming bitter enemies destined to fight to the death at the climactic Battle of Hastings.

We can only hope that NIcholson finds room for some of the infamous stories of William's life: born a bastard, he seized the Dukedom of Normandy from his legitimate brother; dragged his cousin around the room by her hair until she agreed to marry him; kept Harold prisoner and forced him to swear to support William's claim to England's throne, and formed a strategic alliance with the Vikings to distract Harold from his invasion.

Nicholson unveiled the crux of his story: “In 1066, character is revealed above all in battle, which gives me the thrilling chance to craft an epic action story that delivers on a human scale.” Despite only being in the development stages, the film is being fast-tracked, with producers hoping to begin filming this year.

So, who do think could play the notorious William and the luckless King Harold?

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RE: William To Conquer The Big Screen
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' 6thefilmplc.com]www.1066the movie.bizontinue to crush the opposition. "We are the vanguard on this topic, and pride ourselves on being the ambassadors f More

Posted by lanceTiger at 20:42 on 31 January 2009 | Report This Post

10 years ago Jason Patric
I remember reading an article in total film 10 years ago that there would be a film about William the Conqueror and King Harold II exploring their friendship it was meant to star Jason Patric this was just after Jason Patric decided to be a mainstream actor again and he did sleepers and were waiting to speed Cruise control to come out after speed 2 released nothing was ever heard of about this project again and Jason Patric has barely done a mainstream movie sense but I have to say this proje More

Posted by dandonnelly5000 at 14:55 on 29 January 2009 | Report This Post

american accents
lets hope the studio or somebody else insists on tom cruise playing one of the leads and speaking in an american accent More

Posted by samthemanokayman at 12:19 on 29 January 2009 | Report This Post

RE: 1066
L: Timon After going to the Bayeux Tapestry last April, I have to concur with Emily that there is a lot of story to tell, especially the fact that Harold and William were allies. I have to say though, some of the above casting choices are odd - Fillionorthington, Guy Peace? Or we THAT short on British actors? aven't you heard? No casting rumour thread is complete without Nathan Fillion being dropped in there somewhere. Double points if you can drop a) Mark Strong or b) another Fire More

Posted by Pigeon Army at 11:33 on 29 January 2009 | Report This Post

RE: 1066
After going to the Bayeux Tapestry last April, I have to concur with Emily that there is a lot of story to tell, especially the fact that Harold and William were allies.   I have to say though, some of the above casting choices are odd - Nathan Fillion, Sam Worthington, Guy Peace? Or we THAT short on British actors? More

Posted by Timon at 09:40 on 29 January 2009 | Report This Post

Some Character Actors Please!
Sam Worthington for Harold and Maybe Guy Pierce for William More

Posted by Calsterman at 04:14 on 29 January 2009 | Report This Post

But can we please have it a little more neutral than ooh let's say Braveheart, I prefer Ridley Scott's approach with Kingdom of Heaven, where he depicted war as hell but had honourable men on both sides. we'll see...... More

Posted by boredbluekoala at 23:35 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Good call! Jason Statham to play Harold AND William. Now that's a movie right there! More

Posted by muchobenny at 22:46 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Nathan Fillion for Harold. Mark Strong for William. Best. Historical Epic. Ever. More

Posted by Pigeon Army at 22:04 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Neeson is way too old! Mind, so is my fav pic for William, Ciaran Hinds. Perhaps Christopher Eccleston would do - or would his gruff northern persona better suit Harold? Remember William was a redhead - could Damien Lewis be commanding enough for the role? And Harold was a fair haired Saxon - a man's man, whom everybody admired. I'm getting images of Eomer in LotR's - Carl Urban, or even Viggo himself!? More

Posted by Rosie9amgee at 21:27 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

These need to be young actors
Harold was a tall good looking young guy. Rob Pattinson would fit well. More

Posted by hollyoa at 21:22 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

English Pig Dogs
Oh God, time to bring out the petrol and some St George can surely only be Mel Gibson as William and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a suitably weak and evil 'Arry. Bring on the pain! More

Posted by Arfpint at 21:15 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Time for Young British Blood
I'm fed up of the same names that keep getting suggested. You'd think there were only about half a dozen actors working today. YAWN Get some new young blood involved like the Andrew Buchan, Rob Pattinson's and Sam Riley's of this world. The historical characters werent that old when the key events took place. More

Posted by acertree at 21:15 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Ray Winstone for Harold & Russel Crowe for William! More

Posted by Bond at 20:58 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Liam Neeson, Russell Crowe or Daniel Day Lewis More

Posted by nybras at 20:42 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

An EMPIRE forum discussing casting and no-one's mentioned Jason Statham? Thank christ... More

Posted by Gabriel at 20:21 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Oooh cool -  Gary Oldman - Harold  Vincent Cassel would be a great choice for william! More

Posted by Sphinx at 20:02 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

tenner says they change it so that the americans win it. More

Posted by Adrian at 19:47 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

shut it monkey boy!
neeson a fuckin legend. any film he the king. hope this a good one, troy was excellent, alexanda was shite, dont follow suit. More

Posted by richie fingers at 19:11 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Say No to Neeson!
Am I the only one who thinks that, in recent years, you could close your eyes during a Liam Neeson film and pretend you're watching any one of them without a problem? Batman Begins, Kingdom of Heaven, even bloody Narnia. He's become a little one-dimensional, in my opinion. This could be pretty good... or it could be King Arthur... More

Posted by Evil_Monkey25 at 16:21 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Harold - Liam Neeson/Kevin McKidd William - Vincent Cassell More

Posted by jamiemulls at 16:07 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Surely this could be the ideal role to bring John Simm to the masses as King Harold. As for William, lord only knows, but he must be in his late thirties or early fourties; Chris Ecclestone maybe? I can see him playing an absolute shitbag. I'd also be happy to see Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson in either role. Just for the love of god keep Ray Winstone and Clive Owen well away from it. There is one thing that worries me about this film, the plan to start filming by the end of the yea More

Posted by montimer at 15:55 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Neeson? Hell yeah!
Harold would fit him like a glove, if age is an issue then maybe Christian Bale playing him throughout the period this is going to cover. For William, why not an actual French actor to play him? Sounds like "picking the only French actor everyone knows" but how about Vincent Cassell? He could certainly play up Williams villainous qualities (if he's to be shown in that light) but I'd like to see him play a rounded character as usually he's best known in English language films for playi More

Posted by Marwood at 15:42 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

RE: William To Conquer The Big Screen
I'm gonna have to jump on the Bale bandwagon for this one!   Christian Bale for William Daniel Day Lewis for Harold More

Posted by lukeyboy at 14:35 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Billy Vs. Harry
Fassbender Vs. Bale... ...I can dream can't I? More likely to be some heinous marriage of Bloom versus Ferrell More

Posted by BethN21286 at 14:18 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

Bleeding Bloom
Oh you so know that Orlando Bloom will be involved and that the film will end up with him, er, 'meeting a maiden.' Of course, I hope not. And I wonder if the writers will be accurate to how it actually all went down. I am of course talking about Robin Hood POT, landing at Dover and then walking along Hadrian's Wall the next day? Impressive. More

Posted by bartycrouch at 14:12 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

The man made phantom menace watchable and was fantastic in Taken. King Harold was tall and he is old enough to play it with enough gravitas. William on the other hand was only in his late 30's when he invaded so that could be more difficult to place, possibly Peter Sarsgard but seems like a lazy choice especially as Liam is in his 50s More

Posted by fish that roared at 14:02 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

How about Will Smith for Harold and Shia The Beef for William? More

Posted by robrob75 at 14:00 on 28 January 2009 | Report This Post

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