20th Century Fox is currently developing the historical action comedy Hawkwood around the impish English comedian Russell Brand. According to Deadline, Brand heard tell of a larger-than-life 14th century mercenary named John Hawkwood, and brought the idea to Fox’s head of comedy Nicky Weinstock, whom Brand worked with on Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek.
Weinstock boarded the project as producer, and the pair hired Jared Stern — who handled rewrite duties for Brand’s upcoming remake of Arthur — to pen the script. Hit the jump to learn more about the cinematic possibilities of the life of Hawkwood.
Here’s a brief biography via Amazon:
John Hawkwood was fourteenth-century Italy’s most notorious and successful soldier. A man known for cleverness and daring, he was the most feared mercenary in Renaissance Italy. Born in England, Hawkood began his career in France during the Hundred Years’ War and crossed into Italy with the famed White Company in 1361. From that time until his death in 1394, Hawkwood fought throughout the peninsula as a captain of armies in times of war and as a commander of marauding bands during times of peace. He achieved international fame, and his acquaintances included such prominent people as Geoffrey Chaucer, Catherine of Siena, Jean Froissart, and Francis Petrarch.
City-states constantly tried to outbid each other for his services, for which he received money, land, and in the case of Florence, citizenship — a most unusual honor for an Englishman. When Hawkwood died, the Florentines buried him with great ceremony in their cathedral, an honor denied their greatest poet, Dante.
Sounds like it could be a lot of fun, especially when you factor in the potential for kisses with history. In terms centering a comedy around a historical figure, I’m at a loss unless you want to count Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure… which I do.
Brand was recently spotted in a nippled Batman costume on the set of Arthur, and wrapped his role as Trinculo on Julie Taymor’s The Tempest not too long ago. He’ll make the Adam Sandler-produced Bad Father sometime next year, and come April 1, 2011, Brand can be heard voicing the Easter Bunny in Hop.