Robert Rodat

Robert Rodat

He continued to explore themes of the effect of war on individuals in his next produced screenplay, "The Patriot" (2000). Originally a more realistic biopic of the 18th-century hero Francis Marion (nicknamed 'The Swamp Fox'), the screenwriter eventually opted for the fictional route, using Marion's life as the inspiration for the character of Benjamin Martin (played by Mel Gibson), a former soldier who fought in the French and Indian War, now a widower raising his children. As the American rebellion grows and his family is drawn into the conflict, Martin must decide whether to abandon his pacifist stance or not. "The Patriot," helmed by Roland Emmerich, proved to be that rare film which was set during the Revolutionary War period which managed to infuse a sense of drama on history, partly via Rodat's strong script.