Harvey Keitel To Play Saviour of Vienna
A big-budget movie about the fabled 1683 Relief of Vienna has been announced by Italian director Renzo Martinelli. Harvey Keitel is to play King Jan Sobieski, the Polish monarch who saved the city from the Turks.
Billed under the title of September 11th 1683, the film will be an Italian-Polish co-production, with 12 million Euro lined up for costs.
The film will focus on Marco d' Aviano, a Capuchin friar who entered the service of Habsburg Emperor Leopold I, ultimately becoming a trusted confidante. Legend recounts that Father Marco plunged himself into the battle, brandishing a crucifix before the marauding Ottomans. Adrien Brody of King Kong and The Pianist has been tipped for the role.
Meanwhile, the diminutive Mr. Keitel may have to eat more than his usual share of pasta if he is to step into the shoes of King Jan. The Polish monarch was a decidedly portly fellow. Nevertheless, as far as geography goes, Keitel back in familiar territory. In 1980, he played a Viennese detective opposite Art Garfunkel in cult Nick Roeg flick Bad Timing.
If all goes to plan, Martinelli's film may scupper attempts by another team to lure Mel Gibson into the role of the Polish King. In 2006, Polish producer Mariusz Bialek attempted to spur on a parallel venture, with Gibson in the role of victor.
Shooting on Martinelli's feature is due to start in March 2011.