There’s no way James Reston Jr., author of “Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade,” is going to prove that Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox used historical material taken from his book in the making of Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven (Fox, 5.6)…no way in hell. The basic story was in yesterday’s
New York Times. Did Scott and/or his screenwriter, William Monahan, browse through Reston’s book at some point and take a few notes? I would be astounded if they didn’t, but the supposed “smoking gun” incident — producer Mike Medavoy having sent the book to Scott in December ’01 with a letter suggesting that they collaborate — probably won’t be enough to make the case, especially since Scott had an assistant call Medavoy right back and decline. “What was said at the time was, [Scott] had a Crusade project of his own,” Medavoy told Times reporter Sharon Waxman.