Perhaps not so surprisingly, the Crusades have become a subject of much angst (and fantasy) in modern popular culture. Whether it is Dan Brown novels or Assassin’s Creed video games, the nearly 300 year conflict of knights and military forces from all of Christendom converging on the lands around Jerusalem is ripe for drama—even on Spike TV.
On Tuesday afternoon, Spike TV announced the plan to develop a new TV miniseries event entitled The Crusaders. Developed in accordance with Pierce Brosnan’s production company Irish Dreamtime, as well as Mark Sennet Entertainment, the series will track two separate nights from the Celtic lands of Scotland who go on very different journeys during the Third Crusade.
The series is being produced and written by David Franzoni, who in addition to scripting the 2004 King Arthur with Keira Knightley also provided the first draft to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. This appears fitting since the release for Crusaders emphasizes that this is set “after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin’s forces,” which just so happens to be the climax of Scott’s other, underrated 2005 epic, Kingdom of Heaven.
Set during the Third Crusade (1189 to 1192), the series will likely track the conquests of King Richard The Lionheart as he travels to the Holy Lands at first to “aid” King Guy of Lusignan—the monarch who lost Jerusalem—before taking Acre, Jaffa, and much of the coast in what is modern day Israel for himself during a three year campaign that fought Saladin to a stalemate. Richard ultimately returned to England to maintain his own throne while Saladin kept Jerusalem.