From 1337 to 1453, the medieval kingdoms of England and France engaged in a series of battles and conflicts collectively known as the “Hundred Years’ War.” One of the most memorable conflicts, known as The Battle of Agincourt, ended up shifting control of the war (at least at the time) to England after the kingdom toppled the numerically larger France. This victory ushered in a new era of the war, which led to King Henry V of England to be recognized as the heir to the French throne by virtue of his marriage to Catherine of Volois, the French King’s daughter.
Are you still awake? Awesome. This 1415 battle was immortalized in the classic play Henry V by William Shakespeare and most recently in the 2009 Historical Fiction novel Agincourt written by Bernard Cornwell. Four years later Cornwell’s novel is on its way to the big screen courtesy of director Michael Mann…right after the script is ready to go.
Deadline reports that the director has hired Stuart Hazeldine to adapt Agincourt into a feature film for a future directorial project. Cornwell’s novel, though based in fact, focuses on the fictional Nicholas Hook who leaves his native England as a wanted man and is forced to fight as a mercenary archer for the French army. After surviving a particularly grueling battle Hook reluctantly returns home where he is discovered by the young Henry V and asked to take up the longbow once more for his fledgling English army leading into the Battle of Agincourt. Hazeldine’s previous writing credits include the 2009 film Exam, which he also produced and directed, as well as the never-produced Paradise Lost adaptation which Legendary Pictures scrapped last year after a host of delays and other issues.
I’m absolutely head over heels for the concept of Agincourt as historical fiction is a particular weakness of mine. But considering that Mann has been talking about this movie for two years and counting I probably shouldn’t hold my breath that this sees the light of day any time soon. The addition of a screenwriter is promising but we all know how long movies take to get made from concept to execution. Here’s hoping this gets fast-tracked though because I want to see this movie yesterday. His next film, a cyber thriller starring Chris Hemsworth, kicks off production in June.
Do you think Agincourt is actually happening this time?