Netflix will soon be showing a new medieval series, ‘OUTLAW KING’, about Scotland’s Robert the BRUCE. While I have no idea how good the script is or how close the series will stay to the historical record, the costumes and hair styles seem more appropriate to the time than many recent offerings. It’s not overtly laughable, anyway.

However, once again, I am left wondering–why not a film or series about Richard? I truly thought one would spring  up  in the aftermath of his finding. No, we have just been inundated with more Shakespeare, both on TV and in the theatre. Yes, there was the TV series,  The White Queen, which at least gave us a more sympathetic and attractive  Richard (as well as one close in age to the real man) but it really wasn’t about him but about the women of the Wars of the Roses, particularly Elizabeth Woodville.

It is time a dramatic epic about Richard’s life was filmed, instead of yet more Shakespeare complete with grotesque prosthetic humps a la the recent Benedict Cumberbatch offerings. Last I heard, the movie/TV rights to Sharon Penman’s Sunne in Splendour were still available…


outlaw king





  1. Hear, hear!

    But not, pray God, NOT, one in the sort of nauseating, ridiculous fantasy costumes so-called historical dramas have descended to, as you mentioned. And not desaturated so it looks like it’s in a 19th century London fog, the other favourite.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I could go on and on…no people with faces continuously caked in mud as if no one ever even attempted to wash (even if you were poor, there was always the river…and people were still people, caked in grot just does not feel nice), no married women with flowing hair, and let’s have some colourful clothes and houses. Not this grey monotone. Medieval folks loved colour! OK, I can forgive if they are filming in a REAL castle or church–the producers obviously can’t paint the walls– I’ll take the real buildings, even stripped of paint, rather than a cheesy set–but if they are using a set, some colour please!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never understood this. 1950 was it when the Olivier film was made and nothing since? It makes no sense to me as Richard’s story is full of drama, tragedy, adventure, mystery and intrigue – there would be no need to add any ‘artistic licence’ as was done in TWQ. To think we are still talking about this series years later, despite its many flaws shows how popular a new film would be . . . . . especially with a handsome and YOUNG Richard as he was and not an old Olivier version.
    There have been new plays written – Ian Dixon Potter’s ‘Good King Richard’ which had sell out performances in London when it had a couple of runs so why do we still get the same old, same old films? Are film makers frightened of upsetting the Tudorites?
    ps: Wasn’t Philippa Langley writing a screenplay about Richard? What happened to that?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seems a long time ago now but Phillippa told me she had sent her screen play to a Hollywood director to turn into a big screen movie, but that was all that happened, and nothing came of it. She had also phoned Richard Armitage to play RIII and he was very interested in the film but said he was too old and too tall to play the king, but he was interested in playing Warwick the kingmaker.


  3. Yes, the film rights to Sunne and Splendour are still available afaIk, I asked Sharon some time ago but when I looked into buying them it seems very complicated. I would willingly contribute though if someone wanted to set up a syndicate to buy them!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In the annual note on her website, March 2008, Sharon mentions optioning Sunne to a UK company, Blue Feather Films. I can’t find any info about them online. Anyone know the rest of that story?


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