Entitled King Conqueror, the movie will detail the reign of the monarch who conquered Majorca and the Valencian Kingdoms in the mid-thirteenth century. According to sources working on the film, it will depict a story of reconciliations, conquests, valour, traditions, battles, strategy and love aiming to show an excellent strategist who played an immensely important political role in territorial expansion, without forgetting his human side.
The film has already started its production schedule in Alicante, and will progress onto various locations in the Valencia region such as Burriana, Morella, Alcoi, Valencia, Jávea and Oliva, before venturing to the Balearic Islands for several weeks of shooting and finally finishing in Montpellier, France, in April 2008.
The executive producer of the Valencia-based DePalacio Films, Pepón Siglér, will be overseeing the whole project having already worked as producer on films such as The Possibility of an Island, directed by acclaimed Michel Houllebecq, and The Road of the English which came out last year and was directed by the world-famous Antonio Banderas, normally associated with his acting skills.
José Antonio Escrivá will take the helm on King Conqueror, a director who up till now has mainly worked on the sets of television films and mini-series. British actor Tim Roth, who is perhaps best known for his roles in Quentin Tarantino's cult classics Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and his Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated performance in Rob Roy, will be taking up the title part, and will be joined on screen by Mamen García and Elvira Lomba as María of Montpellier, the Spanish King's mother.
Art Director Jonathan McKinstry has perhaps the most impressive CV behind him, having worked in the same role on countless successful films including Empire of the Sun, Alien 3, Total Recall, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Love Actually and Alexander the Great.
McKinstry and the other technical experts on the film will have to collate all their experience in bringing to the silver screen the life of the extraordinary Jaume I who, over the course of his reign, became King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona and Lord of Montpellier. His expansionist regime saw vast quantities of land added to his kingdoms in Valencia, including the conquest of the Balearic Islands during the middle of his long reign.
His patronage of the arts, learning and literature, as well as his skills as a legislator and organiser means that he holds a high place amongst Spain's long line of kings, and has a series of aggrandizing statues throughout Spain. His acquisition of the Balearics, which he termed the Kingdom of Majorca, led on his death to the inauguration of his son as the new ruler of the islands, James II.