Williams is writing Three Lions, which was created by Nicolas Deprost, for the Franco-Belgian producer. The ten-part series is set in 12th Century Europe. It begins when King Richard I is shipwrecked somewhere off the coast of Trieste. His disappearance kickstarts the story of an epic struggle across Europe for its most powerful crown.
The blurb: Richard the Lionheart’s absence and suspected death has created a power vacuum, Arthur his designated heir by law, is being denied his rightful place as King of England by his own grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. This charismatic, proud, ambitious Regent Queen, has no intention of relinquishing any of her power and influence. If Richard is dead, Eleanor is determined that her next son, John Lackland, will be crowned King and her status as the Regent Queen’s will remain unchallenged. Arthur’s mother, Constance – the passionate, liberal young Duchess and ruler of Brittany – is fiercely protective and adamant that her child will secure his birthright and become King of England.
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Constance and Arthur are in a perilous position with few allies and, as rightful heir, Arthur is a highly desirable prize. To claim the crown and become the most powerful King in Europe they need to stay alive, outwit the opposition and choose their friends wisely. Meanwhile the Machiavellian King Phillip of France sees an opportunity and is maneuvering to take advantage of the English crown for himself.
Eleanor and Constance are two powerful, independent and driven women who will stop at nothing to place their own son on the throne. Only one can become the King of England.
Three Lions will be shot across Europe in English with international casting. It is anticipated to go into production in 2020.
“This story is extraordinary, although the series is based on historical facts some of the themes are as relevant today as they ever were. Loyalties, rivalries, lust, conspiracies and the thirst for power are often the focus of history, but Three Lions also shines a light on powerful women in the medieval period and the strength of a mother’s love. Constance is not well known in British history, but this passionate, liberal, strong-hearted Duchess played a crucial role in shaping England and France as we know it today. It’s fantastic to work with Nigel, he is an incredible talent who is as fascinated with this era as I am, and his scripts breathe life into Constance and her world,” said Deprost.
“The middle ages is painfully close to us, and, at the same time, a completely foreign country of which we know nothing. Violence and passion stir the central actors in its drama, in a manner that is entirely unique. Kings and princes cry in public. Women are both all important and yet totally hidden. God is present in political debate. Sexual manners are both impossibly courtly and frighteningly crude. For a writer, this period is both a gift and a challenge – and one I am happy to embrace,” added Williams.
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