Historical screenwriting is a risky business. Sometimes it's praised, like Braveheart, and sometimes it fails miserably, like The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. Now, the story of a lesser-known historical figure, Dame Alyce Kyteler, is starting to make her way to the silver screen. The screenplay will be adapted from The Burning Time, a novel recently released by second-wave feminist Robin Morgan.

Kyteler was the first person in to be charged with witchcraft in 1324, and became one of many condemned for merging pagan beliefs with Christianity. Although she ultimately escaped, others who were accused faced banishment, beatings and death. Although the novel is a fictionalized account, it is based on historical documents and court transcripts.

Now, the rights have been bought to make this book a film, and who bought them? None other than Ashley Judd -- romantic actress extraordinaire. During a press conference for her new film, Come Early Morning, Judd revealed her purchase of the rights, as well as her plans to adapt it into a screenplay. We're not talking about her hiring someone to adapt it -- oh no, she'll be picking up the quill and penning an adaptation herself.

I wish her all the best, but I can't help but wonder how she will take a historically rife novel with serious political themes and make it a screenplay. Maybe it will become a modernized version where a convicted woman is eager to have revenge on those who falsely accused her.Oh... wait...

categories Movies, Cinematical