Copyright 2004

[ August 23rd 2004 ]

Oscar-nominated Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace is returning to his roots as novelist. His latest tome, Love and Honor, an epic set in Catherine the Great's Russia which hits stores next week, was actually started 20 years ago, when he was still a struggling writer. "I didn't have a clear outline of what the story would be, and I wanted to be unrestrained about where I went with (it)," Wallace says about the long road the bookshelf.

He took two historical facts and ran with them. One was that the court of Catherine the Great had "provers," women whose job it was to sleep with handsome men in the officer corps and bring the best lovers to the Russian queen. The second was that the British Empire petitioned the queen to give them 20,000 foot soldiers to put down the American Revolution; she turned them down, and no one knows why, Wallace says. "When you're a writer, you love those stories that enable you to go 'what if?"'

With screen credits like Braveheart, Pearl Harbor and The Man in the Iron Mask, it's no surprise that history holds a special place in Wallace's heart. "I am fascinated by the way history reveals the true significance of things." It's also no surprise that Wallace is already planning to adapt his own novel. Angelina Jolie is attached as Catherine the Great, and Wallace says Bruce Willis and John Malkovich are also interested in roles.

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