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31st March 2003James Cameron's "Zulu"
By Natalija Mohovika
The film will be produced by James Cameron of "Titanic" fame and made by the succesful Soderbergh/Clooney team. Pre production quote: "a tough minded story of brave Welsh soldiers doing their bit for someone else's Queen and country" (attributed to Time Out film guide). Shooting to begin early next year.
According to James Cameron: "I was always fascinated by the story and its anti imperialist message. I could relate to these Welsh soldiers' predicament as I myself am the descendant of proud Scots driven from their homeland by the English".
The 1963 film was scripted by John Prebble who also wrote on the Highland Clearances so it is evident that certain themes are being faithfully adhered to. Hopefully this allays any fears your Discussion Forum may have on the authenticity of a remake! More news when available...
31st March 2003Richard Waters
If that's true i'm going to go insane. I'll never watch a film again!
31st March 2003AMB

"a tough minded story of brave Welsh soldiers doing their bit for someone else's Queen and country" Sorry?

"Shooting to begin early next year"

That's as maybe, but who do we shoot first?
31st March 2003Peter Ewart

I take it you are speaking "tongue in cheek" - and just winding us all up by your statement: "hopefully this will allay any fears your discussion forum may have on the authenticity of a remake." !!!! Tomorrow is All Fools Day & I think this must be an April Fool's joke, so perhaps the laugh is on us? No-one would make the above statements and then suppose any "fears" are allayed - would they? Please tell me they wouldn't! Natalija, if you are NOT joking (& I still presume & hope you are) the above information makes it all MUCH worse than in your original posting. Surely you can see that? No, it's all right - I've decided you MUST be joking.

"Brave Welsh soldiers doing their bit for someone else's Queen & country?" AAAAAARRGGHH!!!! Who? Where? Over a hundred English soldiers, the usual crop of Paddies and a comparatively tiny smattering of Taffs. All brave or scared witless in equal measure, no doubt. And one Jock, was it? Someone else's Queen & country? Let's just hope someone puts Time Out right, or the writer is encouraged by someone to do a bit of reading & brush up on his general knowledge ...

Anti-imperialist message? What anti-imperialist message? The original film's or someone else's "story"? And what was the Welsh soldiers' predicament, as opposed to that of the English or Irish, then? This James Cameron chap - did he ever go to school? "Certain themes faithfully adhered to?" What on earth are you TALKING about??? A single company of a battalion of an ordinary English county regiment for God's sake, with it's usual Irish component and, in this case, with a few recent recruits from just over the England/Wales border, as well as a few others, got mixed up in a skirmish about which they knew and apparently cared very little. Mostly riff-raff before they enlisted, they returned to similar circumstances afterwards. The salt of the earth no doubt, and their officers looking for action as any officer had to do to advance his career and to fit in. What did they know or care about any imperialist "theme"?

A rash policy by a solitary local Governor against not only the advice of experienced and humane local British ( English!) administrators & clergy but specifically against the avowed policy of the British Govt of the time (& even more decidely against the views of HM Opposition) led to an unwise invasion which had tragic long term results for that part of Africa. Undoubtedly, however , it was still Britain's fault. But just how does this support some anti-imperialist and anti-English " theme" which reflects the English kicking out Scots, or Welsh lads finding themselves in a predicament. Do we English all hate the French because of 1066? Or the Norwegians for their Viking ancestors? Or the Italians for their Roman invasion? Or more importantly, do we ignore the crucial contribution the Scots, Welsh and Irish have made in the last 200 years or so of British military (or any other sort of) history?

I'm half Scots and (fairly!) proud of my family's past but this sort of claptrap is what brings such ridicule on the Scots - and the Welsh and Irish for that matter. Crikey, they have a proud enough past without getting Hollywood to make these dumbed-down romantic fairy tales of the "Braveheart" sort. And ask an American (I presume they're American, not being familiar with the names, but I'm going by previous postings) to play the part of a Briton? Hah!

Oh, Natalija, if you know these people, just tell them what fools they'll make of themselves, please!

I was only logging on for a few minutes. Someone finish off for me, PLEASE!


P.S. (Good job I'm no cinema goer!)
31st March 2003Donald Campbell Guy
A 'Zulu'film made by another non South African is not what is needed in our country.

South Africans have made great progress discovering thier own history in their own way....

The story of red soldiers in our Zululand is glorified by British history.

The real story to be told would not be about brave Welshmen or landless Scots...the real story would have a fresh approach and although it would probably be unavoidable to film battle scenes .Energy would be best spent on portraying the real reasons for the Zulu war and what this war led to.......

Why not work on a script that draws comparisons with the present war on Iraq
there are some amazing correlations Mr Cameron.

Don Guy
Filmmaker Kwa Zulu Natal.

31st March 2003Diana Blackwell
Thanks for sharing info about the coming remake. Does the Time Out film guide you mention have a URL? Also, do you know of any other websites, magazine articles, or other sources of information about this?
1st April 2003Andy Lee

Exciting news and I too interested in Diana's question. I think we must judge this new adventure on it's own merits. The 1963 original will always stand alone at the top of the Premiership with Sir Stanley conducting but this is something new and I'm looking forward to it. I just hope they keep in "Men of Harlech" and the welsh theme, and that is from a 100% Englishman.

1st April 2003Clive Dickens
No doubt with the Yanks controlling matters we shal have plenty of the so called friendly fire incidents thrown in like I warned would be in the gulf war in this discussion of a remake a few weeks ago 0ne our our lads has termed them "cowboys" I cannot think odf a better word to discribe them
1st April 2003Andy Lee

Friendly fire is always very sad - this latest incident though with our tank boys crosses over the line. The pilot of the tank buster should be questioned hard and if the term cowboy does appear to be the case, it should be treated as a war crime. I'm not saying that all cases of 'blue on blue' should be treating in this manner but this one does stand out.

Sorry I do seem to be going off the point.

1st April 2003Dave Nolan

James Cameron remaking it eh?

I can see it now - Miss Witt will be played by Kate Winslet (not a bad idea) and will be engaged to marry Bromhead who she doesn't love - but whose money she is happy to spend - She will fall in love with that rogue Hooky.

The post at Rorke's Drift will be described as 'impregnable'.

There will be numerous warnings of impending attack by the Zulus which Chard will ignore.

The Zulus attack but the Buffalo River rises to flood out the Hospital, clearing out the attackers much as the cattle stampede did in the original. Miss Witt saves Hooky from a room where he has been put for insubordination as the flood levels rise.

Hooky dies of wounds in her arms as the Zulus retreat.

Miss Witt can then run away and be assumed 'missing in action' - she will return to RD years later - when the original 'Zulu' is being made, perhaps - to throw the 'Star of Africa' that she nicked from Bromhead into the river and then die to be reunited with Hooky.

If James Cameron would like to contact me on the above email address I am happy to discuss developing this script - I also have and idea where the Zulus are actually machines sent from the future to kill Miss Witt before she gives birth to the baby that is going to grow up to save the world from the takeover by those machines. Hooky is also a machine that has been sent back by the child as an adult to save himselfmby protecting her.

James - I could be available for work at a month's notice.

1st April 2003Peter Critchley
You know Dave, that machines idea could have legs...


2nd April 2003Ron
Let's hope that in this remake, a grave injustice is put right. In that Hook was portrayed in the 1963 classic, as a drunkard and malingerer. It could not have been farther from the truth. He was an honourable upstanding individual, who showed incredible bravery. He was also tea total as well.
I am sure his family would appreciate that fact being told truthfully.
2nd April 2003Andy Lee

Totally agree - it would also be nice to see a part played for the Rev.Smith.

2nd April 2003Sheldon Hall
Would Natalija like to come clean and either (a) admit that she made the whole thing up, as it certainly sounds like an April Fool's Day wheeze to me, or (b) identify the source - if any - of the quotation from James Cameron? The comment from The Time Out Film Guide has nothing whatever to do with any proposed remake but is extracted from the review of Zulu (1963) in the reference book of that name (page 807 of the Third Edition, published 1993, but presumably also still in the current edition).
2nd April 2003Peter Ewart


Yes, of all the major departures from fact in the film Zulu (I admit there probably had to be a number of minor ones) nothing sticks out more than the absence of Smith, made worse by the presence of an absentee, Witt.

I suppose the sight of Witt hobnobbing with Cetshwayo at Ulundi on the afternoon of the 22nd; sharing in the arrival of the news of Isandlwana (which actually must have arrived when the Defence of RD was at least under way already); the gleeful ordering (or at least condoning) by Cetshwayo of the attack on R/Drift, and - best of all - the sudden arrival of Witt at R/Drift, all the way from Ulundi in time to beat those who'd only had to cut across from Isandlwana, in time to warn of the danger, are perhaps the most obvious. Still, the story's the thing, and all that ...

Perhaps a remake really will have we pedantic accuracy-freaks in mind, but I shan't hold my breath. It would be nice to see that long, red beard though, wouldn't it? After all, apart from his role in the defence, mentioned by several participants, we rely on his reports and letters about the action equally as much as we do on Chard's and certainly more than anyone else's. I would not dismiss the possibility of Chard's original report (on which so much speculation has hovered) having relied heavily on assistance from Smith - or, at the very least, on some consultation with him. Although Smith's letters to the press left RD after Chard's report did (additional paper took a few days to arrive) his account was remarkably detailed and he had clearly seen much and/or gone round and spoken to many officers and men. Presumably he hadn't seen Chard's report when he wrote his own reports, unless shown them by Chard - or unless he had assisted Chard in the first place anyway.

There is still much to be discovered, I think, about the strange behaviour of Chard & Bromhead after the 22/23rd, their well documented reticence etc. Some of it ties in with their previous record and attitudes, some doesn't. Perhaps it was just the reaction to battle and of the disaster at Isandlwana.

I won't go into all it all here but I often wonder about Smith's role immediately after the battle. He was educated to at least Bromhead's & Chard's level and was accustomed to compiling several long reports a year for his own superiors for seven years & would have had no difficulty assisting Chard. It may not be too harsh to suggest that Smith was beginning to raise his own profile deliberately, both in the Colony and among the military. According to a clerical schoolboy contemporary of Bromhead's, he'd always been reticent and modest anyway, and Chard's character is perhaps not so well documented before 1879? (I don't know). But after the completion of his report, Chard & Bromhead "clam up" and Smith does the opposite. Neither of the officers apparently pushed for the obvious promotion, but Smith found himself well rewarded. I don't yet know at what stage Smith - deep in his own mind - had turned his back on his original calling. Am I also correct in supposing that the two officers' VCs were irregularly recommended? I'd like to be a fly on the wall at any conversation between Smith & Dalton on the 23rd or after ...

9th April 2003richard
it gets worse, believe it or not someone is planning a remake of casablanca!!!
11th April 2003leigh tarrant
Citizen Caine too!!!!
14th April 2003Mike McCabe
No doubt all of the 24th will be (Irish) Americans, and the great majority of the Zulus (sorry, African Africans) too. I should imagine that somebody will find an Enigma machine, there will be at least one car chase, and it will all end by everyone being given a 'hug'. If the quote provided right at the top really did come from James Cameron, then I would expect this new film to be even more nonsense than the original film Zulu.
18th April 2003Joseph
Just curious about something mentioned above. I have not read about a friendly fire incident involving a tankbuster and British Tanks. I have read about British Tankers who were killed when their tank received fire from another British Tank. Could these be the same incident? I hate that friendly fire happens... it is as unavoidable I guess as civilians being killed in war.
7th March 2005s p mann
How about a cartoon version with Homer SImpson as Chard and Crusty the Clown as Bromhead; Bart Simpson could play Hookie.

Alternatively, get Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson to do it: we could have about 500,000 CGI Zulus attacking a 6" high model of Rorke's drift before being swept away by a massed calary charge of about 20,000 CGI NNH. Gandalf and Reverend Smith could be easily interchanged.