Guest / Limited Access /

It has been nearly four years since Islamic terrorists attacked the United States, prompting the country's Christian president to declare a "crusade" against terrorism. So, with heated rhetoric and serious casualties rising on all sides, Sir Ridley Scott could not help but know that he was taking on a huge responsibility when he forged ahead with Kingdom of Heaven, his new epic about the original Crusades and the people on both sides who fought in them.

Speaking to a roomful of mostly Christian reporters, Scott—whose films include Gladiator, Alien and Blade Runner—recalls tackling similar themes in Black Hawk Down, his film about a disastrous American military operation in Somalia. That film was originally scheduled for release in early 2002, but after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C. just months before, the release date was actually moved up.

"Whilst that was happening," says Scott, "I had already talked to [Kingdom of Heaven screenwriter] Bill Monahan, whose pet subject is just this period. I think we would have made this film with or without the Gulf War and with or without 9/11, basically."

The new film, which opens this week, does not actually take place during one of the Crusades, but in the years between them, just prior to the Third Crusade. Scott says the film was deliberately set during this period so that it would end on a "here we go again" note, with King Richard the Lionheart setting out on his own military mission after the film's battles have come to an end.

"Unfortunately we don't seem to learn from history, do we?" he asks. "And you'd think we would. The very last line [in the film] says it's still going on in the Holy Land, we're still searching for settlement. It's a ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Tags:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThere’s No Crying on Social Media!
Subscriber Access Only
There’s No Crying on Social Media!
Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.
Current IssueThe Benedict Option’s Vision for a Christian Village
Subscriber Access Only The Benedict Option’s Vision for a Christian Village
How to conserve and strengthen the American church.
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
Christianity Today
Kingdom Come
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

May 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.