EXCLUSIVE– Iconoclastic Scottish writer Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and director Jon S. Baird(Filth) are re-teaming for a bold new adaptation of the classic Walter Scott adventure tale Ivanhoe. Jens Meurer is producing through his Berlin-based Egoli Tossell Film banner. Meurer previously worked with Welsh and Baird on Filth, which is how this latest collaboration first sparked.
Very much the standard bearer for the knight in shining armour genre, Ivanhoe follows the story of a worthy and noble knight who returns to England after the third Crusades. He fights to restore the good King Richard, believed to be held captive in an Austrian prison, and depose Richard’s wicked brother John.
Scott’s iconic romantic novel, first published in 1820, has been adapted numerous times for the big and small screen, memorably in 1952 with a cast that included Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Robert Taylor as Ivanhoe. The book is also notable for having first introduced audiences to the character of Robin Hood, known here as Locksley, and his band of merry men.
From Rob Roy by Walter Scott
In the attitude in which she bent from her horse, which was a Highland pony, her face, not perhaps altogether unwillingly, touched mine. She pressed my hand, while the tear that trembled in her eye found its way to my cheek instead of her own. It was a moment never to be forgotten—inexpressibly bitter, yet mixed with a sensation of pleasure so deeply soothing and affecting, as at once to unlock all the flood-gates of the heart. It was but a moment, however; for, instantly recovering from the feeling to which she had involuntarily given way, she intimated to her companion she was ready to attend him, and putting their horses to a brisk pace, they were soon far distant from the place where I stood.
Rob Roy by Walter Scott
Illustration from Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott, Estes and Lauriat, Boston 1893.