Two Polish production companies - MT Art and Studio A - are going head-to-head with separate adaptations of Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz' 1905 novel Teutonic Knights.
The historical novel is based on Poland's 14th century struggle with invading Teutonic knights. It covers events between the death of the Polish Queen Jadwiga in 1399 and the battle of Grunwald in 1410, both of which are important landmarks in Polish history books.
MT Art, headed by Marian Terlecki, plans a $10m adaptation of the story to be directed by Polish actor Bogullaw Linda. Casting is already underway and shooting is set to begin in January next year.
Studio A, together with Da Vinci and Warner Bros, have commissioned a script from Jaroslaw Zamojda based on the novel for a production budgeted at between $5m-$10m which is due to start shooting in June next year.
Both studios say they are ready to go ahead with their projects although they also agree that the Polish market is too small for both films to make money at the box office.
Sienkiewicz has been a rich source of material for Polish producers. Jerzy Hoffman's adaptation of Sienkiewicz' With Fire And Sword became the most successful film in Polish history and a $12m version of his Quo Vadis is currently shooting in Poland with Jerzy Kalerowicz directing and Chronos Film producing. A film based on Sienkiewicz' In The Desert And The Wilderness is being developed by Warsaw-based Vision Film Production.