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Wednesday, 18 July, 2001, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Ridley Scott 'set to conquer Alexander'
Ridley Scott and Gladiator star Russell Crowe
Ridley Scott (r) directed Russell Crowe in Gladiator
Gladiator director Ridley Scott is said to be planning to make another historical epic, this time about Alexander the Great.

Trade journal Screen Daily, quoting Italian paper La Repubblica, said Oscar-nominated Scott will make the film with Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis.

De Laurentiis recently worked with Scott on horror thriller Hannibal, the sequel to Silence of the Lambs, starring Anthony Hopkins.

And, said De Laurentiis, the biopic about the legendary 4th Century conqueror is expected to also feature Hopkins, but not in the lead.
Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal
Hopkins worked with Scott and De Laurentiis on Hannibal

At 63, Hopkins is too old to play Macedonian Alexander the Great, who died aged 33.

De Laurentiis spoke to journalists at a press conference at Italy's Giffoni Film Festival.

"I would like to have big stars in the secondary roles, and get an unknown actor to play the part of Alexander the Great - a unique human being," he said.

The film is being written by Ted Tally, who won an Oscar for his work on Silence of the Lambs.

Tally is adapting the film from the historical trilogy by Valerio Massimo Manfredi.

Mysticism

The life of Alexander the Great, though short, would provide ample material for a high-action screen blockbuster.

He earned his reputation as a remarkable warrior from campaigns that included smashing the Persian empire and opening up the East to Western culture.

But there are also many legends surrounding Alexander to add romance and mysticism to the movie.

They include the taming of his horse, Bucephalus and his unravelling of the Gordian Knot.

Similar historical movies produced by De Laurentiis include Conan the Barbarian and Slave of Dreams.

But he is best known for films such as Barbarella, Death Wish, Blue Velvet and the 1976 remake of King Kong.

British director Scott is best known for films such as Alien, Blade Runner and Thelma and Louise.

See also:

13 Feb 01 | Oscars 2002
Ridley Scott: Hollywood visionary
26 Mar 01 | Film
Crowe leads Gladiator to glory
09 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Blade Runner riddle solved
19 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hannibal chews up competition
01 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Hannibal set for TV 'director's cut'
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