For viewers who are eagerly awaiting A & E Network’s Knightfall, the world premiere of the first episode at the international television conference, MIPTV, in Cannes on Tuesday night, brought fresh information about this series based on historical events.
The official synopsis for Knightfall is as follows.
“The Knights Templar were the most powerful, wealthy and mysterious military order of the Middle Ages, entrusted with protecting the Holy Grail and harboring secrets capable of destroying the Church itself. Knightfall goes deep into the inner sanctum of the clandestine world of this legendary brotherhood of warrior monks. From their battles in the Holy Land, to their clashes with both the King of France and Pope Boniface VIII, to the betrayal that would ultimately lead to their tragic dissolution on Friday the 13th–a date which became synonymous with bad luck–the story of the Knights Templar has never been fully told until now. Knightfall takes you inside the world to find out who these knights were, how they lived, and what they died believing.”
Since the Knightfall pilot episode premiered at Cannes, further news has been released in regard to the synopsis. According to The Hollywood Reporter, while following the history of the Knights Templar, Knightfall will focus on their downfall rather than their early years.
“Knightfall traces the history of the Knights Templar by looking at their downfall. The 10-hour series covers the period from 1291, when the Knights Templar were forced out of Acre, their last stronghold in Jerusalem, to Friday the 13th of October 1307, when King Philip IV of France disbanded the order.”
While the screening of the Knightfall pilot did not bring news of a premiere date, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the series will air on the A & E Network in 2017 or 2018, with the first episode currently a “work in progress.” This news potentially places Knightfall’s premiere slightly behind the schedule announced in the official trailer released back in February of this year, when it was expected Knightfall would air in the fall. Although, considering the significance of Friday the 13th in the history of the Knights Templar, it still seems likely History Channel will push for a Friday, October 13 premiere for Knightfall.
In an interview, Russ McCaroll, senior VP of programming and development at History revealed a little more about the Friday the 13 myth surrounding the Knights Templar to C21TV and how it would relate to Knightfall.
“[Knightfall]… looks at the Knights Templar and their origins in everything from the Friday the 13th myth, where the French king tries to kill them all and they go from being a secret organization to an underground organization and all the other stories surrounding the most fascinating organizations in the history of the world.”
Richard Rayner, who co-created Knightfall alongside Don Handfield and executive producer, Jeremy Renner, revealed the reason for starting Knightfall at the end of the subject’s history had to do with the fact they did not want to have to wade through the Crusades and the 200-year battle between Christians and Muslims.
But, how accurate will Knightfall be in regard to the history of the Knights Templar? According to English writer and historian, Dan Jones, Knightfall “shows both the history and the legend of the Templars.” This indicates Knightfall could attempt to blend fact and fiction together in much the same way as the History Channel did with Vikings. Dan Jones also acted as a consultant on Knightfall.
Along with a blend of history and fantasy, viewers can also expect a certain level of sexual content in Knightfall. While it is unlikely Knightfall will display a Game of Thrones level of sexual content (this is the History Channel on the A & E Network after all), fans who are used to watching Vikings will likely know just how much nudity that is likely to involve.
Knightfall has been created by Don Handfield (Touchback, The Founder, Kill the Messenger) and Richard Rayner (L.A. Without A Map). Oscar and Golden Globe nominee, Jeremy Renner (Avengers, American Hustle, The Hurt Locker), will act as executive producer on Knightfall. Dominic Minghella of Island Pictures has signed on as an executive producer and showrunner for the series. Minghella is probably best known for his work on the TV series Doc Martin and Robin Hood. Tom Cullen, Simon Merrells, Olivia Ross, Padriac Delaney, and Sabrina Bartlett star in Knightfall.
A & E Network’s Knightfall will air in the U.S. on the History Channel as well as globally via various networks.
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[Featured Image by A & E Network]