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Tudors creator turns attentions to Agincourt movie

He re-imagined Elizabeth I as a flirtatious young princess and upset historian David Starkey with a hedonistic Henry VIII.

Now the creator of the hit television series The Tudors, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is training his gaze on another English ruler: Henry V.

Michael Hirst, who also wrote Elizabeth, a film that starred Cate Blanchett, has signed up to write the screenplay for Agincourt.

This €30m UK film will explore the battle in 1415, where a bedraggled English task force -- fronted by skilful longbowmen -- pulled off one of the most celebrated military victories in history against a much larger French army.

It promises to offer a gritty, violent and almost certainly highly sexed counterpoint to previous film depictions of the campaign, notably Laurence Olivier's and Kenneth Branagh's film adaptations of the Shakespeare play Henry V.

The film will be produced by Luc Roeg, the son of director Nicolas Roeg.

Roeg said that he had hired Hirst because of his success in making The Tudors accessible to a modern audience, even though his project is more of a war film than a palace romp.

"If you call the film Agincourt, then the battle has got to deliver," he said.

He wants the fighting to feel like a medieval version of the grunts'-eye view of the D-Day landings in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan.

Filming is expected to start next year.