Friday, February 28, 2003

Screenplay in the works for new Manfredi novel "The Last Legion"

A screenplay is being polished up for the film version of the latest novel of archaeologist turned author Valerio Manfredi, "The Last Legion". The story is set at the end of the Roman Empire, in the fifth century AD, with a band of diehard Roman soldiers defying the barbarian hordes to rescue the young Romulus Augustus, the last emperor, from imprisonment at the Villa of Tiberius on Capri. They then take him to safety in Britain, where he takes on a new identity as Pendragon, the father of King Arthur. Thus the world of ancient Rome merges into the mystical world of Arthurian legend.

A bit far-fetched? "Well, it is true that as one empire dies it gives birth to another," Manfredi says. "It is also true that the story of the Knights of the Round Table had its origins in the fifth century AD, even though it was written up in the Middle Ages. And Excalibur was almost certainly a Roman sword."