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Disney eyes SWORD IN THE STONE remake

Studio nearly out of the non-remake business

By Christopher Allan Smith     January 24, 2002
Source: Variety


Disney's original THE SWORD IN THE STONE
© Walt Disney Home Video
 

In a development that further demonstrates Disney Studios' live action films have almost completely given themselves over to remakes of the studio's animated fare we are greeted by the news a live action version of the King Arthur tale SWORD IN THE STONE is in the works.


According to VARIETY, the studio has hired Jay Wolpert (COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO) to write a script based on the 1963 animated version, itself based on ONCE AND FUTURE KING series of novels by T.H. White. To confuse the story further, Warner Bros. has picked up the rights to some of the later KING novels, and has tapped another writer to pound out a script.

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THE SWORD AND THE SHIELD OF THE REALM The first book of the MERCHANTS OF TIME By FLORIAN STONE WELLS A compelling historical tale to view today’s philosophical and religious predicaments “Islam demands total submission to Allah and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings. Christianity proclaims Jesus the Messiah is the only savior and path to God. Both, resolved in their righteousness, are ready for the ultimate confrontation. Do any of you believe that such adversarial religions, which have been at war for more than five hundred years, can break with the past, find a way to tolerate one another, and live in peace? And what is the price they must pay? Can any of the bishops and mullahs, popes and muftis, sultans and kings be persuaded to make so drastic a change?†Aeneas words resonated like a curse in the silent hall. “And yet, even in this dark hour, a ray of hope still exists and perhaps this madness can be averted.†To this day, very little has been said in the open about the great historical dilemma, which one of the main characters of the novel, a member of the mysterious fraternity of the Excubitors, put so eloquently to his fellow members. “The Sword and the Shield of the Realm†debuts a seven-book historical saga, a grand adventure into a colorful world full of danger and excitement. Part mystery and part alternative history, the novel takes the reader in the midst of the geo-political maelstrom of 15th century Eastern Europe, during a time when, in the intricate tapestry of human history, many of today’s predicaments took root. Using the compelling tale as a backdrop to understand philosophical and religious differences, which so profoundly impacted our world, Florian Stone Wells provides the reader with greater insight into the painful truths of our past. Knowledge of our history perhaps will bring us that “ray of hope†which still exists even in the darkest hours. This exceptional first novel is enhanced with a comprehensive glossary, which contains contemporary terms and relevant historical references and characters. The lexicon adds to the interest of the story line and allows the reader to accurately relate to the events in the book. Synopsis: The year is 1448 and the epic struggle between the Islamic Empire of the Ottomans and Christendom is at its height. Transylvania and Wallachia, the sword and the shield of the Kingdom of Hungary, are about to be invaded by an immense army under the banner of Sultan Murad II, the man who calls himself the Shadow of Allah upon the World. Lorian Comosicus, the heir to a legacy represented by a mysterious Draconic ring, and his twelve-year-old brother, Silvan, are sent across the border mountains to the fortress of Roter Turm with a secret message from the conspirators who killed Voievod Vlad Dracul of Wallachia for pledging allegiance to the Ottoman Empire. After narrowly evading capture by the Sultan’s forces, the boys lose their way in the vast forests of Transylvania where they meet Sir Gregor Dahr Altair, an imperial knight who only just escaped from Roter Turm before it was destroyed by the Ottomans. Gregor is a powerful force within the Excubitors, a secretive fraternity of royal advisors, financiers, and merchants who could change the outcome of the war through their influential positions within the Ottoman Empire and Christendom. Learning Lorian’s identity and mission, he leads the brothers ahead of the tempest, rushing to reach the great trading city of Hermannstadt before it is surrounded and destroyed by the Sultan's army. The future titles are: THE FIELD OF THE BLACK BIRDS END OF THE SEVENTH AGE CROWN OF THE REALM THE DARK VOIEVOD THE GOLDEN AGE HEART OF STONE About the Author Florian Stone Wells’ origins lie in Transylvania, not far from where the story begins. His early ancestors lived there as far back as the mid-14th century, and he was fortunate to spend a good part of his childhood in the same mountains where the ruins of Dracula's Castle remain today, and where the tale begins. At a very young age, he developed an avid interest in the Middle Ages and became a lifelong student of history, expanding his already vast knowledge with many years of study and research. After a ten-year hard-fought battle to escape Communist Romania and the repressive regime of Ceausescu, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1977 as a political refugee. In 1984, he became a United States citizen. His struggle as a political dissident and as a survivor of the Cold War Era is an extraordinary story in itself and, someday, he has plans to put it down on paper. – END –
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