Friday, April 8, 2011

Ben Kane's The Forgotten Legion trilogy

Ben Kane is the author of The Forgotten Legion and The Silver Eagle. He lives in North Somerset, England.

His latest novel is The Road to Rome, the final book in The Forgotten Legion trilogy.

Here he shares some suggestions for director and cast of a big screen adaptation of his story:
I have to confess that I very much wrote The Forgotten Legion with a movie in mind. With a backdrop of the collapse of the Roman Republic and the rise of Julius Caesar to power, and with a panoramic sweep from Rome to the Middle East and Afghanistan, it provides the perfect settings for a wonderful blockbuster 'sword and sandal' epic in the style of Spartacus or the more recent Gladiator. The book is full of scenes in gladiator schools, and vicious fights in the arena. It moves on to Parthia (modern day Iran), and one of the greatest defeats ever suffered by Rome - at Carrhae, where the general Crassus lost 20,000 men killed in one day. 10,000 legionaries were taken prisoner and marched to modern day Afghanistan, where they were lost to history. A great setting for a movie, in my opinion. Crassus was killed at the end of the battle, but with a movie in mind, I gave him the brutal end suffered by a Roman governor in the area some years previously: having molten gold poured down his throat. Argh!

My ideal director would without doubt be Ridley Scott - he directed the amazing Gladiator, and his style of action movie appeals greatly to me. Fast-paced, full of action and with great stories, they are almost all movies to watch again and again. The cast list is more problematic - as my main hero starts the book as a 13 year old boy (his sister and twin is the same age). While Russell Crowe would do a fantastic job later on in the stories, he's too old to start from the beginning. After much thought, I then decided that the approach Peter Jackson took with The Lord of the Rings trilogy would be the best one - to mostly cast unknowns as the heroes. By doing this, it allows the viewer to identify each actor first and foremost with the first film they saw them in - namely, The Forgotten Legion!
Learn more about the book and author at Ben Kane's website and blog.

Writers Read: Ben Kane.

--Marshal Zeringue