British director SIR Ridley Scott has blasted the marketers of his summer (05) blockbuster Kingdom of Heaven, for branding the film a romantic action movie.

The Gladiator film-maker wanted the ORLANDO BLOOM-starring epic to be marketed as a religious and political piece, and believes the box office figures would have been higher had the advertising campaign mirrored his ideas.

Scott pinpoints the US publicity team for being too scared to broach the film's plot of Islamic and Christian conflict, due to the current international climate.

Scott says, "Well $225 million isn't bad. It could have been better.

"I suppose I don't think we really got a hold of it in the States, marketing-wise. I think that they were very nervous what the reaction there might have been to it. They sold it as a big action piece rather than as a religious/political thing.

"We sold it as a romantic action piece and that didn't work so well. It's tricky. I was strongly involved in the marketing process - I always am - and it's such an endless discussion."