Speaking of Kingdom of Heaven, there was an article in the New York Times today about a lawsuit alleging that the film stole its story from a recent history book, Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade, by James Reston Jr.
Given that history is a public-domain kind of thing, it may be difficult to prove that the filmmakers stole any particular author’s reconstruction of history, but the response offered by director Ridley Scott is rather interesting:
Asked about the matter recently, Mr. Scott, who is still finishing the film in England, said he had not read Mr. Reston’s book, nor any book about the Crusades. “Categorically, I don’t read anything, for just this reason,” he said, referring to the dispute. “I draw the fences up.”
Not that this would mean he had necessarily read Reston’s book, of course. And I wouldn’t want to quote Scott out of context. I just find it funny that any director would openly say “I don’t read anything” when he’s making a historical epic for which there must be an endless supply of research material.