Academy Awards, Adventures in Paradise, Ang Lee, Anne Hathaway, Audrey Hepburn, Beau Rivage Lake Geneva, British Airways, Bugatti, Colin Firth, Cornwall, Corvette, Dan Hodges, David Bowie, Elan Durham, Elan Durham europabridge Author of 'Adventures in Paradise' Hackgate screenplay comedy, Emma Freud, Geneva, Graff Jewelers, Hackgate, Joe Wright, Kate Hepburn, Leveson Commission, London, Michael Buble, Mike Newell, New Statesman, Pinewood Studios, Prada Sunglasses, Ray-Ban Sunglasses, Relais & Chateaux, revenge comedy, Richard Curtis, Romantic Comedy-Revenge Caper, Santa Barbara, Screwball Comedies, Stella Artois, Tattinger's Champagne, Taylor Kitsch, The Beatles, The Eurythmics, The Pretenders, Tom Hooper, Valentino Couture
Hello all … europabridge writing to you from Boston about a screenplay set in gorgeous London … ’Adventures in Paradise‘ my Hackgate screenplay draws from various inspirations and sources to create a mixed genre film I hope will break box office in 2014. A romantic comedy-revenge caper that I like to call the ‘feel-good movie of the year’ for people with brains, the screenplay is highly polished at 130 pages, and completely original in the way it looks at the events of Hackgate.
The first draft I produced in 24 days in July/August after Hackgate broke in the press, in response to an OP/ED Dan Hodges wrote in The New Statesman defending the NOTW, because, he argued, all of us ‘want and need’ this kind of snooping to get the news.
Though Hodges (notorious for his provocative rhetoric) might have been writing in jest … what a rebuff. I wrote a response, more like a protest, which inspired me to write the first draft of my screenplay, and started me on this project that has gone through enough twists and turns (lost on a crashed hard drive for half a year and finally recovered) to merit its own screenplay.
Clive Reade, written for Colin Firth, is the celebrity window through which we experience Hackgate. Aurora, a reporter, provides another window, which helps Clive understand how his life has become fodder for the vultures of the press … Together, they conduct something like their own Leveson Inquiry, but it’s a lot more interesting, entertaining, and fun. In fact, I would argue that it might actually be helpful for people to see the issues Hackgate raised dramatized and somewhat resolved in the cinema … as, I do not expect any major changes to be reflected in the way the press handles its affairs due to Leveson.
Aurora Blunton is a combination of the spirit of Audrey Hepburn and well, Aurora herself. I believe she is a fairly original character – dreamt up from my own depths.
Clive Reade, a billionaire hotelier with his own brand of 5* hotels and resorts similar to Relais & Chateaux or The Viceroy 5* Hotels and Resorts, is a Modern Renaissance Man, combining the best of the old and new worlds. ’Adventures’ achieves a hybrid form of film entertainment … lighthearted, funny, romantic, satiric, tender, beautiful, and at times justifiably savage, brutal, dark, and surprising. And there is that overused word: gravitas.
As I made little adjustments during revisions, I was always amazed at how quickly it moves. ‘Adventures in Paradise’ works exactly like a true romantic comedy, and yet it also has plenty of suspense, action, and fast-paced glamour (like racing a Bugatti along the A1 in Lake Geneva).
If you loved the screwball comedies, and the comedy of manners of the 30′s and 40′s, plus a bit of Hitchcock, ‘Adventures in Paradise’ will be right up your alley.
Still, ‘Adventures’ is as contemporary as anything I’ve read, due to the way I’ve structured it. There are several opening sequences, and four endings that will keep people guessing about what’s happening, though I have tried not to be clever for the sake of being clever.
No surprise, I am looking for an agent in the UK or an agent in the US who has the power to reach over the pond, as most of the roles were written for British actors, though there are a few key roles for Californians – most notably bad boy Trent Cortigan, who I would love to see played by Taylor Kitsch. The major shooting location is London of course, with other supporting scenes in Cambridge, Cornwall, Geneva, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and various luxury islands like Anguilla, and the Maldives.
Why is ‘Adventures in Paradise’ so internationally-based? In my travels over the past few years I covered a lot of ground and decided to balance the locations between Global, US, and UK interests … So I imagine some of the global aspect could be captured at Pinewood Studios, and I am looking for financing internationally as well.
As far as financing is concerned, I did not intend this, but in the course of writing a screenplay about the monied, glamorous power-brokers of a certain international set, I keyed products associated with their lifestyles into the story. It was only after I finished the script, I realized I had a goldmine of possible merchandizing or branding opportunities. Scoff all you want, the new James Bond film Skyfall was financed in totality by its use of the German beer Heineken.
Bugatti, Corvette, Rolls Royce, Stella Artois Beer, Bud, Tattinger’s Champagne, Graff Jewelers, Prada Sunglasses, Ray-Bans, Valentino Couture, Armani, Louis Vuitton, British Airways, Blackberry, Nokia, and IPhone are among the products featured throughout ‘Adventures’ … sometimes for intentionally comic effects – no less effective, by the way. Perhaps what I need is an amazing lawyer who knows how to wrangle a merchandizing deal.
Oh, and I’d like to hear music by Michael Buble, David Bowie, The Beatles (Polythene Pam), The Pretenders, The Eurythmics, Captain & Tennille (for a stalking scene), The Clash, Ralph Von Williams, Lorenz Hart, Jerome Kern, and George Gershwin on the soundtrack. The Adventures in Paradise CD could sell incredibly well, and go on to become a hit. Happy thought!
Emma Freud has said Richard Curtis is tied up, but I think he’d make a fine director for this kind of material. ‘Adventures in Paradise’ (registered with the WGA) needs a directorial eye keenly adapted for comedy, drama, suspense, romance, caperish spoofs, and stylish film-making … And so I also thought of Ang Lee, Joe Wright, Tom Hooper, or Mike Newell. And since Tom Hooper has worked with both Anne Hathaway and Colin Firth, maybe he’d be a natural for ‘Adventures in Paradise’.
After all, my dinner party, at the end of the third act, is filmed down a long formal table seating 30 people, needing many reaction shots and matching cuts. This has never been accomplished – not in Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs or Gosford Park. I think I have out-glamoured and out-poshed the poshest! P.S. There are many scenes in cars, limos, and on the phone in limo’s or cabs, so who’s up for some hand-held action in the backseat alongside a tracking shot?
If you’d like to read about how I wrote the character of billionaire mogul Clive Reade, click here. It’s no secret I wrote ‘Adventures’ while combining the best of two British film personas for beloved Clive – with the flavor and balance coming out in favor of Colin Firth. I believe Firth has the dignity, chops. and intelligence to carry off such a major role, as he’s on camera as much as 90% of the film.
Suitable for our times, I’ve resurrected the 80′s soap opera uber-bitch in Diane Gregory, a major player in the tabloids fiasco. And I’ve even asked for Joan Collins to appear in a cameo in a Michelin star restaurant in London during a major scene with Clive.
I wrote the role of Clive Reade to win an Oscar, for whomever ends up playing him, and there could be other nominations as well.
And Diane Gregory and Aurora Blunton are tour-de-force roles …
Diane is selfish, unforgivable, and unpredictable but still somehow lovable. Frankly, I think Emily Blunt would eat this role up and then ask for seconds, and she’d get it in my sequel – ‘Return to Paradise’ – now in the works.
Aurora Blunton has to be brilliant, beautiful, funny, and irresistible – perfect for Hathaway … I don’t know that we’ve seen such a character on the big screen since Kate Hepburn or Audrey Hepburn.
By the way, it’s useless to resist, as I’ve written the movie hit of 2014 …
MUSIC UP –
‘Adventures in Paradise’ a story of tabloid vandalism set against great wealth, poverty, rancid cynicism, corruption, betrayal of decency and innocence … with many great comic turns … Clive and Aurora find redemption from the tabloid life through their adventures together … and love.
Continue to scroll down to see other blogs on aspects of ‘Adventures in Paradise’ – a film I know many of you will love to experience again and again in the movie theatre … Hope to see you there.
- Died of TV Guide (Adventures in the context of Leveson)
- About europabridge
- Clive Reade in ‘Adventures in Paradise’ – Nothing If Not Daunting – Academy Award Material … (europabridge.wordpress.com)
- Clive & Aurora Meet: A Confrontation/Dinner Date Scene from Screenplay ‘Adventures’ A Revenge Comedy (europabridge.wordpress.com)
- Hackgate: The Movie – starring…. (digitalpolitico.net – humour)
- Infographic Explains Hackgate, News of the World Scandal (pbs.org)
- Leonardo DiCaprio, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, & Kelmscott Manor Screenplay … Awards Seasons, Past & Present (europabridge.wordpress.com)
- Photo of London: alluwant.eu
- Photo of Marked up Script: http://scripteach.com/?page_id=148
- Photo of Fleet Street: Google Images
- Photo of Anne Hathaway: pixphotograph.com
- Photo of Hepburn & Grant: Classic Movies Digest blogspot
- Photo of Bugatti: thfire.com
- Photo of Sailing Yacht: Hyperion Royal Huisman Sailing Yachts
- Photo of Colin Firth: Google Images
- Photo of Beau Rivage Geneva Switzerland: http://www.beau-rivage.ch/uk/index.php#index.php
- Photo of London: dandybooksellers.com
NOTE: I do not claim ownership rights to any of the photographic or graphic materials used to illustrate my ideas or represent persons, places, or products (like hotels, restaurants, teddy bears, or yachts) when blogging about ‘Adventures in Paradise’, or my other screenplays or various ideas at europabridge.wordpress.com. I do claim absolute authorial copyrights for my screenplays, and for all the literary works I have written for television and film, as well as for short stories, or novels, and anything I discuss here or tweet about on Twitter. When tagging photos, I have tried to be descriptive or to refer to the website where the photo was featured. Many photos are in the public domain; others were being used in the same way I use them – on blog sites or fan sites – simply to represent persons or as a tribute to their personages, or to suggest certain possibilities. No photo is ever used to malign or harm a person’s reputation. The one exception to this is my reference to former President Richard Nixon, in my Died of TV Guide blog. However, as he resigned in disgrace from the Presidency, for snooping, I would hope my use of his photo would make sense in the context of my critique of freedom of speech, invasion of privacy, and the creation of an enemies list.