Sure, he might be a busy man, but who could ever accuse Roland Emmerich of doing anything by halves? Me. I could. He’s a lazy and ridiculous director. That aside, he has a lot on his plate at the moment. – not content with directing a movie based on the Stonewall riots, the pivotal moment in the gay rights movement in America, he is also in talks with Freemantle International to produce a miniseries based on the life of Lawrence of Arabia. The show, possibly to be aired on the History channel, will presumably cover the bits that the three hour cinematic masterpiece failed to cover, like that time the esteemed adventurer exploded the White House.
Those cynical folks over at Screen Crush ruined everyone’s fun by putting the series in direct correlation with the success that the History channel has had with their Hatfields and McCoys miniseries, quoting Freemantle CEO David Ellender thusly:
T.E. Lawrence was undoubtedly one of the greatest military and political strategists of our time and a stunningly intrepid Englishman who tried to unite the Arab world. The heritage of this story is fascinating – beyond the historical element, it’s a personal tale of emotional turmoil, identity crisis, conflicting loyalties and individual brilliance.
But why now? Why re-tell the story when there’s such a fantastic movie available for all to watch? Well, it turns out that there’s some topical relevance to the tale as well. According to David Ellender:
The Middle East and Arab Spring as we know them today are linked to Lawrence’s actions, which make this epic incredibly topical. I am delighted that we are working with partners of such high-caliber to bring this project to the screen.
It’s a good thing that a man known mainly for facilitating peace in the Middle East should be remembered anew, and may go some way to heal some wounds. That said, will Roland Emmerich be able to tread lightly around any possible controversy? He’s no stranger to historical madness, given his film Anonymous and its insistence that Shakespeare didn’t write his own plays. It’ll be interesting to see what path Emmerich takes with this project. There’s no word on a potential release date or even a start date yet, just that he’ll be collaborating with T.E. Lawrence’s biographer Michael Korda and screenwriter Rod Lurie, who wrote the 2011 remake of Straw Dogs.
What do you make of this news? Excited, bored, etc?