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Ridley Scott Plans Another Epic: HANNIBAL

According to The Telegraph, Ridley Scott (GLADIATOR) is working to bring his historical epic HANNIBAL to the screen and appears to be in competition with Denzel Washington, who had announced two years ago that he wanted to bring Hannibal's story to the big screen and star in it. Washington got Fox's backing for the project and David Klass penned (DESPERATE MEASURES) the screenplay. Washington has always wanted to play Hannibal since he wrote his college thesis on the general's life. Scott now has Sony's backing and has hand picked actor Vin Diesel for the lead. After the success of GLADIATOR Hollywood studios are looking to do more epic stories that can capture people's imagination.

Regardless of Scott beating Washington to the screen, he is likely to face criticism from historians. It's rumored that he will include scenes in the film inspired by passages in Leckie's book "Carthage: A Novel", that are not corroborated by historical facts, including a gruesome portrayal of the gang-rape of Hannibal's wife - even though there is no proof that she even existed. Hannibal is portrayed in the book having sought revenge by burying 400 Roman soldiers alive, and disembowelling eight pregnant women, in addition to impaling hundreds of Roman townspeople.

Hannibal historian Adrian Goldsworthy ("The Punic Wars and Cannae") told The Telegraph, "These were pretty brutal times but I think sometimes people's imaginations can get carried away. We don't know anything about Hannibal's love life."

(Source: The Telegraph)

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