The story of Braveheart begins in the early 1990s. Randall Wallace, a television writer, has just signed a script based on the writings of Blind Harry, a poet who was interested in the almost legendary figure of William Wallace in his time. The project is then in the hands of MGM. When Mel Gibson had the opportunity to read it, he planned to ask Brad Pitt to play the lead role, but eventually difficulties encouraged him to consider playing the character of William Wallace himself. He decided to involve Icon Productions, his company, but was unable to raise enough money to start shooting. Warner then made him an offer: if he agreed to make a new part of Lethal Weapon, the director would have the money necessary to realize his project. At the time reluctant to make such a compromise, the actor finds an arrangement with Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. In the meantime, he is also forced to refuse the lead role in Luc Besson’s Fifth Element.
Since the film focuses on the struggles of William Wallace, a very important figure in Scottish history, Mel Gibson began shooting in Scotland. He quickly moved production to Ireland. Not only is there more aid, but the government is offering to make part of its army available to meet its needs for extras. It can then reduce its costs and count on 1,600 men during the ambitious reenactments of the battles. Trim Castle is at the center of several important sequences. Mel Gibson transforms the monument into the city of York. He also used it to create the London square. The trick is to use only parts of this vast architectural ensemble or to skilfully disguise it to give it a new identity on screen. In order to optimize his budget a little more, the director does not fail to explore the surroundings. This is how he turns to the abbey of Bective, not far from the fortress. Also in the Dublin area, Dunsoghly Castle, the only castle in Ireland to have retained its original medieval roof, is featured on the screen.
With the full support of the Irish government and satisfied with authentic filming locations such as Trim Castle, Mel Gibson completed Braveheart, not without a few bruises but in good conditions. When the film was released in theaters, it was a great success, even though historians have pointed out some important inconsistencies. The director and his screenwriter have never hidden their desire to propose, above all, a romantic epic, even if it means betraying the great story.
Very loosely based on the life of William Wallace, the hero of Scottish independence, Braveheart is more particularly based on a poem by Harry the Blind, a 15th century author. Controversial because of its violence, the film nevertheless won five Oscars.
Mel Gibson used 1600 extras to shoot some of the battle scenes.
Trim Castle is the largest in all of Ireland at 30,000 m2. The fortress tells part of the history of the country, including the clan wars.
It is in the XIIe century that the construction of the castle of Trim, in the county of Meath, begins. The location is chosen to allow access from the sea, via the river. Located... Learn more about Trim Castle
Discover all the places Braveheart on our map
By Gilles Rolland
Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.
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Cult! movies: 100 mythical places of cinema [French Edition]
Since the dawn of cinema, films have invaded the world and highlighted sometimes unexpected places. Every film location has its secrets. The latter are sometimes as exciting as the feature films themselves.
Did you know that the cemetery where the final duel of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was built from scratch and that no body lies there? Or that the bus ofInto The Wild has been moved to discourage fans from spending the night there? From the story of the construction of The Bridge on the River Kwai to the incredible encounter during the shooting of the last scene ofIndiana Jones and the Last Crusadeembark on an exciting world tour with the greatest stars of the seventh art. Shiver in the real haunted house ofAmityville and discover the terrifying anecdotes of the making ofApocalypse Now in the Philippines. Visit the building of Blade Runner before stopping at Hogwarts and finally landing in Jurassic Parkin the middle of the Hawaiian archipelago. What if we also took you behind the scenes of the making of the Hobbits’ village of Lord of the Rings ?
Produced by a team of pop-culture specialists and enhanced by numerous anecdotes, Cult! movies tells the secrets of the places that made the history of cinema.
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