Jessica Shaw
December 18, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

If you thought Disney’s Mulan cornered the market on historical epics about cross-dressing girls who lead armies into battle, think again. There are no fewer than three projects about Joan of Arc in the works. The Fifth Element‘s Milla Jovovich will star in a biopic about the French martyr directed by husband Luc Besson; Deep Impact‘s Leelee Sobieski just signed to portray her in an upcoming CBS miniseries; and director Ron Maxwell is planning an indie movie (Mira Sorvino has been mentioned). More than 500 years after her death, why is the teenage saint who was burned at the stake so, well, hot? ”It’s the Dark Ages, you’re a virgin, and you put on a man’s clothes,” says producer Ed Gurnin, who’s shooting the CBS telepic in Prague. ”If that doesn’t appeal to people today, I don’t know what does.”

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