ANOTHER GO-ROUND FOR RESTON'S PLAGIARISM CLAIMS AGAINST RIDLEY SCOTT AGAINST HIS CRUSADES EPIC "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN"
The Associated Press finally got around yesterday to airing James Reston Jr.'s claims that Ridley Scott ripped off the first 100 pages of one of his books as the basis for Scott's latest cinematic bloodletting starring Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson.
That means most of the rest of the media is finally getting around to picking up a story that first made its rounds in The New York Times on March 28, although most of the backbiting has been confined to the trades.
Fox says Reston's claims are baseless, and Scott claims never to have read Reston's book "Warriors of God: Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin in the Third Crusade."
At the very least, "Kingdom of Heaven" is a catchier title.
If Reston does go ahead and sue -- he'll probably take a gander at the box office first -- good luck, especially since he wrote about historic events. While Scott will never be confused with a biography maven, he is an old hand at planting a foot in the past, real or imagined (read: Gladiator).
Since Reston's book had been pitched to Scott for a movie in 2001, he's claiming it was a bit too much of a coinky-dink that a Crusades movie just happened to come out with Scott's name attached after he took a pass on a screenplay based on Reston's book. It all sounds like a lot that's open to interpretation. Translation: Only the lawyers will come out winners if Reston takes to the courts.
One revealing nugget came from variety on April 19, which reported Reston would love to be included in any stories or features about the film, even though he may sue. Just a hunch: Scotty Jr. shouldn't expect any help from Fox publicity toward that end.