From Publishers Weekly
With a scheduled release date set to accompany that of Ridley Scott's new film, Kingdom of Heaven, this behind-the-scenes book explores the history of the Crusades, the era of the movie's inspiration. The film follows Balian, "a blacksmith turned Crusader," during a rare and brief peace-time among the Christian and Muslim cultures, between the Second and Third Crusades. As the book reveals, the idea for the film began shortly after the September 11th attacks, but Scott argues in his introduction that the film is not meant to "moralize or propagandize." Later in the volume, screenwriter William Monahan reveals his intent: "The two civilizations, arguably, being again at war, I was interested in examining a time when there was a period of...if not peace, then accommodation-when the Muslim world and 'Christendom' were at an equal strength." Aside from discussion of the film's subject matter, the book explains other details most moviegoers may not notice. For example, although much of the story takes place in the Near East, the filmmakers opted for landscapes in Spain and Morocco, since many of the original locations are either in ruins or have become too modernized to be useful. Also, many of the film's characters are a mixture of fictional heroes and real historical figures. This promotional picture book includes impressive photos of the star cast, including Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson, and of the elaborate film sets. But movie buffs may appreciate more the generous inclusion of architectural concept drawings and set models, the annotated script pages and storyboards, or even the detailed costume designs.
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About the Author
Ridley Scott is the director of G.I. Jane, White Squall, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Thelma and Louise, Black Rain, Someone to Watch Over Me, Legend, Blade Runner, Alien, The Duellist, and the forthcoming Hannibal (2000).
David H. Franzoni's previous films include Amistad and Jumpin' Jack Flash.
John Logan was a screenwriter for RKO 281, Any Given Sunday, and Bats.