Mel continues historical rampage

  • 2004-05-06
Having tackled the thorny issue of Jesus' crucifixion and William Wallace's run in with the English, Mel Gibson is set to produce yet another historical epic. This time he will tackle the most bodacious woman of them all - Boudicca (or Boudicea, as she's better known), the British warrior who led resistance to the Roman invasion and who was posthumously dubbed the first British queen.

But astonishingly, four Boudicca projects are in the works. Paramount is to make "Warrior Queen" and Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks studio has a Boudicca project under way, entitled "Queen Fury." A fourth project, "My Country," is being offered to studios.

Roman Polanski is to direct a new Oliver Twist film starring 10-year-old Barney Clark from Hackney, London. Ben Kingsley is to play Fagin, the sinister leader of a group of pickpockets. The film begins a 16-week shoot in Prague in July and Polanski has promised something "quite different" from previous film versions. He said that the film would stick closely to the original text and would essentially be for children.