Earlier, I had predicted that "The Passion will open in a few dozen theaters around the country." Instead, The Passion will open on 2,000 screens nationwide. I'm delighted to be wrong. On the other hand, I also predicted that "At least one major movie studio will make . . . a film about the Crusades which will show the dangers inherent in Christian religious bigotry." Sure enough, we learn that director Ridley Scott will do for the Crusades what Alien did for chest pains by making Kingdom of Heaven via 20th Century Fox studios. According to a story in The Washington Times:
The script depicts [the Crusader's King] of Jerusalem, as "the archvillain." A further group, "the Brotherhood of Muslims, Jews and Christians," is introduced, promoting an image of cross-faith kinship. "They were working together," the film's spokesman said. "It was a strong bond until the Knights Templar cause friction between them."But people who are dumb enough to spend time learning from sources other than Variety, Entertainment Tonight and their cocaine-dealer's latest gossip disagree. Jonathan Riley-Smith, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, says the film's plot is "ridiculous . . . rubbish . . .complete and utter nonsense." Amin Maalouf, author of The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, tactfully says of the film: "It does not do any good to distort history, even if you believe you are distorting it in a good way. Cruelty was not on one side, but on all."
The Knights Templar, the warrior monks, are portrayed as "the baddies" while Saladin, the Muslim leader, is "a hero of the piece," Mr. Scott's spokesman said. "At the end of our picture, our heroes defend the Muslims, which was historically correct."
Whatta buncha eggheads . . . they don't even know Jerry Brukheimer's home number and they think they can talk like that? Didn't Ridley make G.I. Jane, the definitive comment on war and humanity? Didn't he trump Jane Austen as a cultural icon by filming Thelma and Louise? Just how much money is Jonathan Riley-Smith and Amin Maalouf gonna make anyone? Huh? HUH? Ridley Scott knows better. Always has, always will:
Mr. Scott's spokesman said that the film [is] . . . "trying to be fair, and we hope that the Muslim world sees the rectification of history."Oh yeah, it'll be a "rectification" all right, just like the rectification of the Vuldronaii when the Traveller came as a very large and moving Torb. Then of course in the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrex supplicants they chose a new form for him, that of a Sloar. Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day . . . . . .