Just received an email from Thomas Madden, the historian of the Crusades at St. Louis University, who brings to my attention a new movie about the Crusades that has created a brouhaha in Britain. To be released next year, the movie is being directed by Ridley Scott and will include Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, and Liam Neeson. And—the important bit—it will portray the Crusaders as crude, ignorant, and bloodthirsty, while making Saladin, the Muslim leader, into a hero.
From the London Telegraph:
Jonathan Riley-Smith, who is Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, said the plot was “complete and utter nonsense”. He said that it relied on the romanticised view of the Crusades propagated by Sir Walter Scott in his book The Talisman, published in 1825 and now discredited by academics.
“It sounds absolute balls. It’s rubbish. It’s not historically accurate at all. They refer to The Talisman, which depicts the Muslims as sophisticated and civilised, and the Crusaders are all brutes and barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality.”
(Read the complete article here.)
Mel Gibson, call your lawyer. You need to buy up the rights to Louis IX and Richard the Lionheart—fast.