This crowd-pleasing medieval adventure tale is very loosely inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and mixes the anachronistic elements of modern-day rock music and colloquialisms with a period setting and characters. Heath Ledger stars as William Thatcher, a low-born 14th century squire who, in a fit of inspired spontaneity, replaces his deceased employer as the competitor at a jousting competition. Jousting is a pastime only permitted to knights, who are of noble birth, but Thatcher wins and decides to continue his new pursuits. With the help of his two fellow squire friends Wat and Roland (Alan Tudyk and Mark Addy) and none other than the gambling-addicted Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany), Thatcher has soon adopted a false identity and is winning one joust after another on his way to a championship in London. His victories inspire the affection of a female fan, Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon), and the ire of a competitor, Count Adehmar (Rufus Sewell), but Thatcher's ruse is threatened with exposure. A Knight's Tale is the sophomore directorial effort of acclaimed screenwriter Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar for his work on L.A. Confidential (1997) and debuted behind the camera with the troubled production of Payback (1999).