Braveheart adaptation coming to television

STV Production is developing a television series which will depict the life and adventures of William Wallace, a historical figure famously played by Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

Mick Davis, who worked on the outstanding, but short-lived Patrick Stewart serial The Eleventh Hour, is slated to write the show, which follows Wallace through his attempts to unify Scotland, complete with bloody battles fought against Edward the Longshank and Robert the Bruce.

“This was a turbulent time in Scotland’s history, in which William Wallace had a starring and pivotal role,” explained STV exec Alan Clements.

“We plan to delve deep into his character and explore his passions, bringing parts of history to life in a spectacular and raw depiction. With all eyes on Scotland in the current political climate, this also seems to be a very appropriate time to tell this story in more depth.”

The developers are clearly thinking along the lines of recent political epics which have made it to premium television networks, specifically citing Starz’s Sparticus and HBO’s Game of Thrones. The series will be helped with some funding from Creative Scotland, through a deal with STV, but it can’t be made until the potential showrunners find an interested network.

Of course, STV will be looking first at premium networks, where they’d be able to find the funds, and lack of censorship, to do the story in the gritty bloody way they see it being done best, but failing that, they’ll look to the broadcast or cable networks.

Personally, I think the STV should give the project a miss if it can’t get a premium network on board. If they have to shoot it for a broadcast network, they won’t be able to be as gritty as it needs to be to work well, and if they have to go with a cable network, they won’t have the budget to make it look good.

With the high production values the team is seeking, I wouldn’t expect to see the show until next spring at the earliest, that is if it gets picked up at all.