Another Wallace TV drama announced as referendum looms

A second television mini-series about William Wallace and Scotland’s medieval wars of independence has been announced.

Gladiator director Ridley Scott has teamed up with the Discovery Channel for a new scripted drama based on The Wallace and The Bruce books by late Scottish historian Nigel Tranter, a spokeswoman for Scott Free Productions has confirmed.

It follows the announcement last year that STV is working on its own scripted drama on the life of William Wallace, which also has Hollywood backing.

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Release dates for both productions have yet to be decided, but yesterday’s announcement raises the prospect of two high profile TV shows of the wars of independence being screened around the time Scotland goes to the polls to decide whether it will be independent once more.

The Scottish independence referendum will be held on September 18 2014.

The Discovery Channel’s production is expected to be more rooted in history than Mel Gibson’s 1995 blockbuster Braveheart, which was a box-office hit but was widely derided by historians.

Ridley Scott has previously tackled ancient Rome in Gladiator, the crusades in Kingdom of Heaven and medieval England in Robin Hood, as well as directing seminal science-fiction movies Blade Runner and Alien.

He will co-produce the as yet untitled Wallace and Bruce production alongside David W. Zucker, who produces The Good Wife which screens on Channel 4 in the UK.

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