|Visit the site King Richard Armitage|
I became an eager fan of this project as soon as I heard about it while watching an interview with Richard Armitage at GMTV (3rd October 2007). Now, not only I signed the petition but I also started researching about Richard III and reading history books as well as historical fiction dedicated to him. I've also invited Ricardians and historical fiction writers to write for FLY HIGH to support the cause and I go on, fingers and toes crossed, hoping the project comes true sooner more than later. Of course, I'm talking about Richard Armitage's dream of producing and interpreting a new Richard III.
"And why do we need Richard Armitage's King Richard III project come true?", you might ask. Well, not only because it would be incredibly good to see our favourite actor achieve one of his dreams and ambitious goals - one for which he has been working, reading and planning for years now - but also because the other Richard, King Richard III, deserves the acknowledgement of how wronged he has been after his defeat at Bosworth (1485) by Shakespeare's portrayal and, especially, by the Tudor propaganda.
It's rather time people substitute the popular image of the deformed, hunchbacked, wickedly scheming murderer with a more balanced portrait, closer to the historical reality.
This is what Richard Armitage has been dreaming about in the latest years: a fictional, biographical TV series proposing a new Richard III based on the belief that he was probably one of the best king England has ever had. A prequel to The Tudors.
|Richard Armitage talking about his Richard III project at GMTV (October 2007)|
"The history of the world, like letters without poetry, flowers without perfume, or thought without imagination, would be a dry matter indeed without its legends, and many of these, though scorned by proof a hundred times, seem worth preserving for their own familiar sakes". (from the preamble of Richard III 1955)On Imdb you can find a detailed list of all the filmed works dedicated to or focusing on Richard III, and including even those movies just featuring him as a minor character. But, except for The Black Arrow (adaptation of R. L. Stevenson's historical novel in which young Richard of Gloucester helps the protagonist Richard - Dick - Shelton), in all of them we have him portrayed as the wicked villain.
It is also true that Shakespeare's Richard has his fascination: he is sharp-witted, articulate, cunning and persuasive; he works his charms both on the other characters in the play and on the audience. So, we risk to be seduced each time he is on stage and looks directly to us reveiling his treacherous plans. However, as perfect as Shakespeare's Richard is, it is time the literary villain is substituted with the historical figure based on documents and not on propaganda.
So far, the most famous and remarkable Richard III movies we have are:And therefore since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain …
- Laurence Olivier's Richard III (1955).
- Ian McKellen's Richard III (1995), the classic Shakespearean play staged in an alternative fascist England setting.
- Al Pacino's Looking for Richard (1996), which is more a documentary film about Shakespeare’s significance and relevance to the modern world through interviews and an in-depth analysis of “Richard III.”
- Then, if you love modernizations, you might want to have a look at Shakespeare's Richard III (2008) with David Carradine as Buckingham and Scott Anderson as the protagonist. This modern day retelling is set in contemporary Hollywood.
Don't you agree with me that we really need a good TV series, popularizing a different image of Richard III, the image so dear to all Ricardians and to which Richard Armitage has dedicated so much enthusiasm so far?
This trail dedicated to Richard III and Richard Armitage continues tomorrow on Inge3's blog, Crispin's eclipse, Richard III: A Biography
This post is part of the FanstRAvaganza 3. Other blogs participating in the event are A is for Armitage, An
Obsessed Fanatic, Avalon's Realm, C.S. Winchester, Cerridwen Speaks, Crispin's Eclipse, Do I Have a Blog? ,
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Country Life, Feminéma, Funky Blue Delphinium, I Want to be a Pinup! , Just Another Armitage Fan, La Loba, Me, My Thoughts & Richard Armitage, Melanie's MusingsMr John Thornton, Musings & Other Enigmas, Phylly's Faves, Searching for MY Mr. Darcy, Something About Love (A), thearmitageeffect, y que iba yo a contar, White Rose: Sincere and Simple Thoughts