The Giaour

   ‘THE GIAOUR’ SENDS
DAVID OAKES AND JULIAN MORRIS TO OTTOMAN EMPIRE GREECE
David Oakes will play Hassan Ottoman commander

Gender identity is definitely a very hot topic these days, and Rika Ohara plans to discuss it from a 19th-century angle! She is currently preparing a movie project based on Lord Byron‘s famous 1813 poems The GIAOUR in which harem slave Leila is drowned as an adulteress and her lover the Giaour (“infidel”) kills her master Hassan in revenge and is cursed to become a vampire!

THE GIAOUR
which has two boys whom we couldn’t really adore more even if we tried – David Oakes and Julian Morris in the cast, with the story set during the Ottoman Empire in Greece, will follow ten-year-old Laertes who is saved by Ottoman commander Hassan (David Oakes). Baba the Nubian eunuch puts Laertes in girls’ clothes and calls him Leila. Protected by Hassan and Baba,

Julian Morris is to play a character named David

Leila grows to love Hassan but the world judges them master and “harem slave” — which is the story Byron chose to tell in his poem.

 

In Lord Byron’s The Giaour (1813), beautiful harem slave Leila is drowned as an adulteress. Her lover the Giaour (“infidel”) kills her master Hassan in revenge and is cursed in punishment.

In the 200 years since its publication, The Giaour spawned a genre of gothic fiction and came to symbolize, via Delacroix’s paintings, the lethal conflict between the East and the West as represented by its two male protagonists: one Muslim, the other, Christian – the Giaour, or “the infidel” of the title. Yet Leila, at the center of this murderous passion, is entirely silent and strangely bloodless – until we consider a controversial new reading of the poem that unlocks her true identity.

Love, blood, karmic retribution – the film The Giaour is Byron meets kabuki, in which Leila ceases to be a silent victim of “Oriental” violence against women, and Hassan emerges as a gay Muslim romantic hero.

No release date.
Eugène Delacroix, The Combat of the Giaour and Hassan, 1826, Art Institute of Chicago)
Related worksThe Giaour is the first of Byron’s series of Oriental romances. The poem’s success led Byron to publish three more “Turkish tales” in the next couple of years: “The Bride Of Abydos” in 1813, “The Corsair” and Lara, both in 1814.

Barkskins 2020

‘BARKSKINS’ NEW EPIC SAGA

DAVID THEWLIS TO LEAD AT NAT

Network: United States National Geographic Channel
Runtime: 60 minutes
Status: In Development
Show Type: Scripted
Genres: Drama
Created by: Elwood Reid10 episodes
The series will be based on Annie Proulx book

GEO

Another potentially very interesting period set series for us: David Thewlishas been cast as the lead star of BARKSKINS a new historical drama set to air at National Geographic’s 172 channels around the world next year!

Based on a book by Pulitzer Prize winning author  Annie Proulx, it follows a disparate group of outcasts who must navigate the brutal hardships, competing interests, and tangled loyalties at the crossroads of civilization— 1600s New France, where the war to escape their past and re-make themselves is cast against the vast and unforgiving wilds of North America. David Thewlis will be Monsieur Claude Trepagny, a wealthy landowner with grand visions for New France.

 British thespian David Thewlis will take the lead role in the new epic series

A chronicle of America’s deforestation from the “New World” arrival of Europeans into the modern era of global warming told through the stories of two immigrants who work as wood-cutters.

National Geo – No release date

Lady MacBeth (TV series)

 BBC Studios which will make LADY MACBETH TV series with the aim to shop it to some of the streaming or cable networks not BBC.
As ‘Deadline’ reports, it will tell the epic and violent tale of LADY MACBETH, when she was still Gruoch Ingen Boite, married to the Mormaer of Moray Gille Coemgain Mac Mail Brigti. The opening episode would show how Gruoch, who has strong beliefs in witchcraft, sees a premonition of the death of her own son at the hands of Macbeth so to protect him she takes it into her own hands to kill Macbeth. However, he was not there and she ends up killing his father after he attempted to rape her, as well as the rest of the family in the castle. Subsequently, her husband seeks permission from Malcolm, the King of Scotland, to kill Macbeth, who says yes but warns Macbeth who kills the husband. King Malcolm’s solution to stop the two families warring is for the pair to marry. The rest of the story would show how these two murderous, plotting, politically Machiavellian characters come together not trusting one another and not liking each other!

MacBeth Film

WITH MARK ROWLEY
Macbeth aired in UK cinemas in March
 MACBETH  entirely shot on green screen and reinvented by director Kit Monkman starring The Last Kingdom’s Mark Rowley! Monkman’s unique adaptation successfully bridges the gap between theatre and film by exploiting the capabilities of the green screen to portray the vast world of make-believe while maintaining the traditional values, language and themes of Shakespeare’s original theatrical play.
Super hunky Mark Rowley plays the lead role
A BRAVE NEW VISION OF THE OLD STORY

Brilliant young general MACBETH pulls off a glorious victory in battle before returning to an indolent court where honours are dispensed by whim. Spurred on by prophesying drifters and an ambitious wife, MACBETH sets his sights on the throne. In Kit Monkman’s adventurous new adaptation, this compelling tale of unchecked ambition, soured friendship, lost intimacy and the descent into nihilismis encountered in a strange and claustrophobic territory partly conjured by the mind. The movie is currently available to stream and download on Amazon.

Blessed Virgin – 17th Century

DRAMA CASTS LAMBERT WILSON AND CHARLOTTE RAMPLING
We’ve had quite a few lesbiefriendly projects announced this week, and here’s another one and it is period set too! ‘Deadline’ reports that Charlotte Rampling and Lambert Wilson have joined young actresses Virginie Efira and Daphne Patakiain 17th century erotic thriller BLESSED VIRGIN.
Lambert Wilson will lead the male part of the cast
To be directed by famous Paul Verhoeven, it will see gorgeousVirginie Efiraplaying Benedetta Carlini, a novice nun capable of performing miracles, who joins an Italian convent in the late 17th century, as plague is ravaging the land.  While at the convent she begins a love affair with another woman. Steamy and scandalous and delightfully sinful :) The story is, apparently, based on historical facts about the abbess Carlini.

 

Release date appears to be in France in 2019

Virginie Efira and Charlotte Rampling will star in Blessed Virgin

Hallelujah

 RALPH FIENNES

IS HANDEL IN ‘HALLELUJAH’

In another period set movie, Ralph Fiennesand director Chris Addison will work together on comedy drama HALLELUJAH a period set movie on famous composer George Frederick Handel and the chaotic, spectacular first performance of his Messiah.
Set in a riotous 18th century London and Dublin, the farce follows drunk and cantankerous Handel who is a forgotten man to all but his whip smart valet. Worse still, he has lost his inspiration to compose. However, when he overhears the singing of famous actress Susannah Cibber, the composer is moved to write once again and King George II tasks him to create an oratorio to celebrate the new Irish Viceroy in Dublin. Yet, when Handel approaches Susannah with the news, he is shocked to learn that not only does she have a fear of singing in public, she’s also on the run from her vengeful husband. The motley crew travels to Dublin only to realize that London’s gin-soaked alleys are no match for the competing, sectarian politics of Dublin’s choirs, the stupidity of English overlords, and the hypocritical morals of the day. Confronted with these odds, Handel has no choice but to defy his critics and keep going. Show must go on.
Fiennes will be famous composer Handel

 

 

Versailles Final Season

FAREWELL TO FRENCH COURT!
It’s the saddest and the happiest of news, spylings! The new season of French English language epic saga VERSAILLES is finally arriving to Canal + next week, Monday, April 23rd, but it is, alas, the final season as well! After three years, Louis XIV’s royal court is closing its gates on us. The series never really became an opulent historical saga it could have been, opting to fill its second season with mediocre court intrigues, unnecessary mysticism and lack of dynamics and splendor turning it into a doomed snoozefest which tried to save its ratings with full naked ladies. Hope the third season finishes the whole affair in a dignified style! The final season arrives on Ovation in USA in October and this spring in UK on BBC2.

The third and also final season arrives tomorrow in France!
George Blagden is again King Louis XIV the Sun King of France
The final season will see Louis becoming a crazy absolutist.
Judging from the photos the final season will be more opulent!

 

THE END OF A REIGN, THE BEGINNING OF A LEGEND

Louis has settled the Poison Affair and won the war against Holland. Nothing seems to be able to thwart his ambitions: to expand his empire and impose his power on the whole of Europe. But his dreams have a cost, the people are tired of paying and revolts are roaring… At VERSAILLES too, new challenges await Louis. Maintenon, his new favorite, leads him into an absolutist assertion which is not without causing considerable dissension in the Court Gradually, Louis no longer tolerates any dissent, be it his people, Protestants, or the Pope himself. Yet a threat hangs over Louis, in the form of a mysterious prisoner concealed behind a mask …
Royal brothers Philippe and Louis will meet another brother under Iron Mask?
Rory Keenan stars as Holy Roman Emperor Leopold

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Matthew McNulty, who is no stranger to Epic series, is new cast member
KING LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE
Played by George Blagden. Between the arrival of Leopold, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and that of Cardinal Leto, representing the Vatican,Louis is largely occupied by the control of Europe, while in Paris, the people are becoming irritated by taxes.

DUKE PHILIPPE D’ORLEANS
King’s brother is played by Alexander Vlahos. He tries to unravel the mystery of a masked man, The Iron Mask, whose existence threatens the very foundations of the Monarchy. His secret could question the legitimacy of Louis and Philippe. Who is he ? How to silence it?

QUEEN MARIE THERESE

Louis’ wife is played by Elisa Lasowski. Sister-in-law of Emperor Leopold, Marie Thérèse succumbs to his charms and goes to support her lover rather than her husband. A very dangerous game.

FABIEN MARCHAL

The king’s security expert is played by amazing Tygh Runyan. Fabien’s loyalty will be put to the test. He’s troubled by Sophie’s return to Versailles.

MADAME DE MAINTENON

King’s new lover is played by Catherine Walker. After the dismissal of slutty Madame de Montespan’s from the court, Maintenon became Louis’s favorite. But despite the many solicitations of the King, she refuses him.

PRINCESS PALATINE

Duchess of Orleans is played by Jessica Clark. A fierce opponent of Maintenon, who removed her newborn baby to send her to royal nurseries in Paris, she will contribute to the reconciliation of Philippe and his idiotic and egotistic lover Chevalier (played by Evan Williams above) and finally reform their scandalous “ménage à trois”.

The Miniaturist – starts tonight Dec 26th on the Beeb

BBC’S ‘THE MINIATURIST’
1ST PERIOD SET DRAMA CLIP

The characters from BBC’s new three episode period set drama

THE MINIATURIST which will air next Tuesday and Wednesday, December 26th and 27th in UK in their holiday programme. You can also check out two clips below!

 BASED ON JESSIE BURTON BOOK

Set in 1686, it follows 18 year old Nella Oortman (Anya Taylor Joy) who knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam.

Full of hopes and dreams, she has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of wealthy merchant, Johannes (Alex Hassell) Brandt. But instead of Johannes, she’s met by his cold sister Marin (Romola Garai) and quickly realises that nothing is as it seems in the Brandt household. When Johannes finally appears he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a doll’s house replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror what is happening within the house in unexpected ways and seem to be predicting and unravelling the future with unsettling accuracy. You can also check out the two, rather cheap looking, clips from the mini series below.

Anya Taylor Joy is Nella Oortman
  
Alex Hassell is Johannes in the series
Romola Garai and Anya Taylor Joy
The series will air first two days after Christmas on BBC

The Miniaturist BBC

1ST PERIOD SET DRAMA PHOTOS

Meanwhile, Sky’s rival BBC has unveiled first photos presenting the characters from their new three episode period set drama THE

MINIATURIST which will, start airing in two weeks when Howards End finishes!

 BASED ON JESSIE BURTON BOOK
Set in 1686, it follows 18 year old Nella Oortman (Anya Taylor Joy) who knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam.

Anya Taylor Joy is Nella Oortman

Full of hopes and dreams, she has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of wealthy merchant, Johannes (Alex Hassell) Brandt. But instead

Alex Hassell is Johannes in the series

of Johannes, she’s met by his cold sister Marin (Romola Garai) and quickly realises that nothing is as it seems in the Brandt household. When Johannes

Romola Garai and Anya Taylor Joy

finally appears he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a doll’s house replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist,

The series will probably start airing in December

whose tiny creations mirror what is happening within the house in unexpected ways and seem to be predicting and unravelling the future with unsettling accuracy.