Kingdom of Heaven is a movie that was released on May 6, 2005, written by William Monahan, directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Marton Csokas, Brendan Gleeson, Ghassan Massoud, Edward Norton, Michael Sheen and Liam Neeson. Its story deals with the Crusades of the 12th century, and involves a blacksmith who aids the city of Jerusalem in its defense against the great Islamic leader Saladin, who battles to reclaim the city from the Christians. The script is loosely based on the life of Balian of Ibelin.
It was reported that the Moroccan government sent hundreds of soldiers to protect the set and crew. However, the Moroccan cavalry were actually on hand as extras in the epic battle-scenes.
Most filming took place in Ouarzazate in Morocco, where Scott had filmed Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. A replica of the ancient city of Jerusalem was constructed in the desert. It was also filmed in Spain, at the Loarre castle, Segovia, ValsaÃƒÂn, ÃƒÂvila, Palma del RÃƒÂo and buildings in Seville.
Kingdom of Heaven follows the story of a blacksmith, who, after finding out the existence of his father, and having to deal with his wife's suicide, goes to Jerusalem in hopes of redemption and forgiveness.
Balian (Bloom), heads off to Jerusalem, after being knighted by his newly found father, to purge his sins and those of his wife. Upon arriving he finds that he has the favor of many men who were under his father Godfrey's (Neeson) command. He is befriended by the King of Jerusalem Baldwin IV(Norton), who suffers from leprosy, and the Protector of Jerusalem, Tiberias (Irons). He subsequently has an affair with the King's sister, Princess Sybilla (Green), and goes on to defend Jerusalem from Saladin's (Massoud) army. There are also the antagonists, the war-hungry, power-hungry men, of Guy de Lusignan (Csorkas) and Raynald de Chatillon (Gleeson) who want nothing more than to annihilate the armies of Saladin.
As the film progresses, following Godfrey's death, Baldwin dies from inevitable leprosy, Raynald is dead together with the Knights Hospitaller (Thewlis). After 3 days of intense siege battle, and after the breaking down of a section of Jerusalem's walls, Balian surrenders to Saladin under conditions of safe passage of the inhabitants to the shore. At the end of the film, we see Balian and Sybilla heading off to an unknown location.