Having just finished Tom Willocks book, which I had trouble putting down, I watched the dvd of Kingdom of Heaven and was astounded by the many clear parralels! I thought it must be a film of the book but could find no references either way. Is this a chicken and egg situation? For there to be 2 blacksmiths who start there stories by killing with red hot blades is interesting.
The world is full of stories that start off with a farm-boy/apprentice whose village is visited by an outsider that draws them off to a conflict on a much bigger stage, for example Treasure Island, Star Wars, The Hobbit (and LOTR), The Nightingale Floor, (and no doubt countless western and war films) probably because many of these stories, along with other narratives, feature 'a boy becoming a man', so it's probably not that strange that two stories of knights feature a young blacksmith in a similar position. I would have to say though, that The Religion would make a great film, and Ridley Scott would be the man to do it justice. Maybe a TV miniseries would be better, (if the budget was comparable to a movie) as it could tell the whole story, not cut corners with the plot. (The long Directors Cut of Kingdom of Heaven is far better, and suits watching over a couple of nights.)
SD99-I cannot agree more with the last half of your post...although I think it would make a better,huge budget,film To make a film,or TV mini-series would be a brave thing to do.To do it justice 'The Religion' would have to be 18 rated and therefore a ,supposedly,limited audience.Someone has to have the guts to do it. Ridley Scott?I hope so.
I would love to see this book turned into an epic movie, however with the sensitivites of the modern world, any portrayal of conflict between Islam and Christianity would probably be used by extremists on both sides to further their causes, missing the point of the story completely. I totally agree that Ridley Scott would be an excellent choice, his eye in painting glorious pictures full of subtle symbolism would do the story justice.