Hollywood sets its sights on 1066

The field of the Battle of Hastings by Phillip C

John Hillman reports on news of the latest Hollywood historical epic

It’s looking like the story of the most famous Channel crossing in history is finally going to get the Hollywood treatment.

1066 and the epic battle of Hastings is having three separate feature films made about it next year; all of them carry heavyweight tinsel-town backing.

Nearly 1000 years have passed since William the Conqueror fought his way into England, and it still remains one of the most important events in European history. The death of Edward the Confessor caused a bitter split between Harold and William, and led to the invasion of England and the changing of our country forever.

Producers and writers behind films like Elizabeth: The Golden Years, Gladiator and Trainspotting are competing to be behind the biggest and best release of the film, with most of them choosing to focus on the relationship between the two warrior Kings, who were once good friends.

The epic battles and the arduous Channel crossings seem to be tailor made for some serious CGI action and I for one cannot wait for this belated arrival to the pantheon of sword and sandal epics.

Hopefully at least one of the films will attempt to bring alive what it must have been like to transport a medieval army across the Channel in some pretty rudimentary ships, when in all probability a large proportion of the soldiers had never even seen the sea. I imagine it was complete chaos; just the perfect topic for the cinema.

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