‘Adventures in Paradise’ Romantic Comedy (Hackgate) Screenplay – Better than Leveson and a lot more fun …



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Colin+Firth+colinfirth21Hello all … europabridge writing to you about my Hackgate inspired screenplay ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ set in London. The script draws from various inspirations and sources to create a mixed genre film that I hope will break box office in 2017-2018. A romantic comedy-revenge caper, ‘Adventures in Paradise’ (reg. WGA) will become the feel-good movie of the year ~ for people with brains. The script is highly polished at 130 pages, and completely original in the way it looks at the events of Hackgate. To say that ‘Adventures’ is about Hackgate, however, is like saying ‘Bringing Up Baby’ is about cougar conservation …

The first draft I produced in 24 days in July/August after Hackgate broke in the press. It was written in response to an OP/ED Dan Hodges wrote in The New Statesman defending the NOTW.

Though Hodges, notorious for his provocative rhetoric, might have been writing in jest, I wrote a response to support the idea of privacy … inspiring me to finish a first draft, and launching me on this pet project, which has gone through enough twists and turns (lost on a crashed hard drive and recovered) to merit its own screenplay.

The role of Clive Reade, written for Colin Firth, or for someone with an equal degree of talent (Matthew MacFadyen, Rupert Penry-Jones), is a celebrity in his own right for being the third richest man the world … Elegant, attractive, smart, with those rarest of qualities: kindness and decency. Aurora, a Cambridge University educated reporter provides another window through which we experience Hackgate. Together, they conduct something like their own Leveson Inquiry, but their work is a lot more interesting, entertaining, and needless to say sexy.

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. I thought about Carey Mulligan in this role, mostly due to her work in ‘An Education’ … That young girl and Aurora have a bit in common, though of course Aurora Blunton has already begun her career, and is in the middle of one of the biggest scandals the media world has ever seen.Carey Mulligan as Aurora Blunton

‘Adventures in Paradise’ is funny, satiric, tender, and at times justifiably savage, brutal, and surprising in the way it pushes the envelope on so many levels, to examine privacy issues, love, public boundaries, harmony between career men and women, secret sex lives, thuggery, and some lovely romantic moments no one has seen in the theatre for decades.

‘Adventures in Paradise’ recalls the screwball comedies of the 30’s and 40’s, plus a bit of lighter Hitchcock, as in ‘To Catch A Thief’… So it works just like a true romantic comedy, yet there are also plenty of suspenseful, fast-paced scenes that will keep the moviegoer guessing. (Guess who meets up at Claridges Map Room? See the movie …)claridges-map-room-london.jpg

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 are written for British actors, and many of the locations are based in the UK, as well. However, there are key roles for Americans (or actors who can impersonate them) – notably Californian millionaire Trent Cortigan – a role that seems to call out for a marvelous presence like Chris Hemsworth. Shooting locations also include Cambridge UK, Cornwall UK, Geneva, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and various island luxury resorts … St John’s, Marbella, Seychelles. And I’d like Michael Buble to sing ‘Foggy Londontown’ as the ‘Adventures’ theme song. mqdefault Buble in London

By the way, it’s useless to resist, as I’ve written a classic, popcorn box-office hit …


‘Adventures in Paradise’ a story of tabloid vandalism set against great wealth, poverty, corruption, betrayal of decency and innocence … with many great comic turns. Clive and Aurora find redemption from the tabloid life through their investigative adventures together … and love.

Thanks for stopping by europabridge … and DM me at @europabridge1 for more information.


Photo Credits:

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.

What do Colin Firth, Hackgate, Mr. Darcy, Valentino Couture & 30’s Comedies Have In Common?



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Hello all … europabridge, scribe here … reporting to you from Cambridge, MA, *shudder* but on to the point of ‘Adventures in Paradise’.

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‘Adventures’ (registered with the WGA) loosely based on the events of Hackgate, weighs in at some 130 pages. That’s a little over two hours in the theatre, as the script works very much like a puzzle, and moves very quickly, indeed.

I’ve had a wonderful time writing Clive Reade as a sort of Darcy – returned to our era – impossibly rich (billions), literate, articulate, brave, funny, and wise. Oh yeah … handsome, generous, sexy, incredibly well-mannered, manly, as well as being an impulsively reckless Bugatti driver, undoubtedly drawing comparisons to Cary Grant.I wanted to create a new screen icon in Clive Reade, since film viewers, especially female viewers, want to see some combination of Cary Grant and Mr. Darcy stroll into a make-believe world, and transport them to a place where people speak in more than common utterances … After all, the gross-out movies of Judd Apatow cannot meet all our needs, and Clive Reade is an Olympian hero compared to this scale of comedy.

Essentially, I’ve created a wonderfully complex character, who is not so much perfect, as he is lovably imperfect – always catching up with who he needs to be to face the challenges my screenplay throws at him. He is betrayed horribly but survives, in a Buster Keaton way, and then makes a brilliant comeback – most importantly, without using machine guns, taking out a ninja squad, killing his ex-girlfriend, or blowing up a bank.

How does Clive Reade do it?! He has something almost extinct in our age: character, instinctive grace notes, and intelligence.

The long dinner party scene at Clive’s Belgravia Square mansion is a tour-d-force filling some 30 minutes of the film and culminating in a final coup that’s funny, surprising, savage, and poignant.

‘Adventures in Paradise’ draws on many sources: British RomComs, the 30’s Comedy of Manners (Nick & Nora, Hildy & Walter, Susan & Dr. David Huxley), Hitchcock’s stylish whodunnits, some Evelyn Waugh, Noel Coward, Dickens, and social satires like Network. I hope I’ve shown my indebtedness to old Hollywood, without wriing a clunker weighted down with cinematic tributes.

The truth is the story has plenty of action, just no gratuitous violence, still … it constantly shifts focus to keep you guessing in the midst of some fairly complicated and fast-paced developments.

The look of ‘Adventures in Paradise’ is also important to the overall concept of the film … And I have searched the web for images that inspire me and reflect a kind of Contemporary-Retro look, which I have interpreted as Classic. The above lovely staircase I found in a mansion on Lyall Street in Mayfair, London … And if Richard and Anthea Sylbert were still working, I’d hire them.

The dress I want Aurora Blunton, writer and love interest to Clive Reade, to wear at the dinner party with Clive in London: Valentino couture found in Vogue.

A young sophisticated woman, Cambridge-educated, beautifully turned out – stunning in any context – Aurora is disastrously out of place at The Sentinel (tabloid) where she lands due to a frame-up, boondoggle, and betrayal. Carey_Mulligan_aurora

Her progress as a major player in the London scene, and her character development are issues I carefully crafted in writing her.

Possible casting for Aurora Blunton … Carey Mulligan or perhaps someone in the UK I am not yet aware of?

Finally, I’ve started the sequel ‘Return to Paradise’ which will continue the caper in just as interesting ways. The opening of ‘Return’ is a knockout – featuring a comic wedding scene at Brides’ Cathedral on Fleet Street in London … the church for journalists in London.

What a  funny concept: journalism and religion!


Screenwriter-writer of ‘Adventures in Paradise’ Elan Durham MFA — europabridge …


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Professional & Personal Biography

Hello … Thanks for visiting my CV.

Born on Oxford Street in South Carolina, I grew up playing on the grounds of the Greenville City Art Museum located across my backyard fence. I played barefoot in the 22,000 square foot mansion, running up and down its many floors; considered art, and became a young critic of sorts.

Tapestries with ladies and unicorns, a grand piano, and gold harp were my toys, and strangely, I did not think there was anything particularly unusual in all of this.

By the age of seven, I was reading Shakespeare and poetry, scripting my own television shows, and performing in my backyard. The 1918 edition of Charles and Mary Lamb‘s Tales of Shakespeare is the one I read from as a child … (Click here to read the complete book.) My collection of linked short fiction ‘Borrowed Light’ about my early life in South Carolina, and life in Los Angeles as a struggling actor weaves stories from many of the images and experiences recorded here.

More recently, following the deaths of two family members in 2008-2009, I traveled for almost two years across some 100,000 miles in the US, Europe, Canada, and Thailand. This led to becoming enamored of travel. For a month in Spring, I drove all over Scotland watching the lambs fold, feeding strawberries to the tamed deer, and staying in fine B&B’s, cottages, hotels, and Inns.

For a month each in London, Paris, Copenhagen, and Crete, I walked the soles off my shoes in Stockholm, Athens, Prague, Hamburg, and Oslo … Rode water taxis, sailed on transatlantic cruises, jetted 10,000 miles at a pop, and luckily traveled by Eurail when Eyafjallajkull in Iceland erupted … Thus, any position which requires me to be mobile would be welcome. Any position which asks me to use what I know about anything else you see commented about on these pages from writing to real estate to travel to film to acting also would be welcome.

During my years in Los Angeles as a struggling theatre actor (1979-1990), I worked in fine arts and crafts galleries, and once foiled an armed robbery of Warhols by tackling the bandit …

In New York, from 1992-1994, I sold luxury residential real estate with The Corcoran Group, some 15 million dollars in a little over a year. The properties I showed and sold include a TriBeCa loft for the Italian apparel firm ETRO and a Co-op at Jackie Onassis‘ building 1040 Fifth Avenue.

After my sales, I was offered an opportunity to work with Donald Trump alongside a senior VP at Corcoran; instead, I returned to graduate school for my MFA in Writing and Literature. 5. jacqueline kennedy onassis 1040 fifth avenue

From 1998 to 2005, I taught for seven years in English at the University of North Carolina. By 2005 I had taught in three departments, all together ten different courses from freshman to graduate level courses. The Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Dean of Arts and Sciences recognized my service to graduating students citing my ‘significant impact’ on their lives.

It was an important time for me as well … I completed ‘Borrowed Light’ well-reviewed by an agent of a Pulitzer Prize winning author (Michael Chabon), and other editors at major magazines and journals (The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Southern Review, and Esquire). While my writing has not proved lucrative yet, this is something I want to change within the next year.

Perhaps you will be the key mover to help make this happen by connecting me with an agent, producer, or someone who would like to co-produce some of my film projects with me.

I’ve written a screenplay ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ loosely based on the events of Hackgate in London, and am now looking for an agent. A sequel is also in progress, ‘Return to Paradise’, and I have a third screenplay about the Pre-Raphaelites — ‘Kelmscott Manor’ that I began in Sweden, and am eager to resume work on.

‘Kelmscott Manor’, one of the locations for my Pre-Raphaelite screenplay, is a through-the-looking-glass Arthurian tale-love triangle involving William Morris, Jane Burden, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. (Kelmscott Manor by May Morris to the left.) For a brief review of what I’ve been up to as a writer please visit my about.me page … Thanks.


MFA Masters of Fine Arts, Creative Writing

University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Relevant Link: UNCW Tidelines

BA Advanced Bachelor of Arts, Comparative Humanities, University of Alabama-New College

Louisiana State University (18 graduate hours) Writing and Literature
University of Alabama, Advanced Fiction Writing
Duke University, Creative Writing
UCLA, Screenwriting

Other: University of Oregon. Women’s Literature, Dance and Performance

Theatrical Training and Experience:    

The Actor’s Studio, Stella Adler, Royal Shakespeare Company, Thom Kibbe, Diane Shalet, William Ball, The Groundlings, and Theatre Gym, NYC. Appeared in plays at California Institute for the Performing Arts, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Cast Theatre, and The Dramatist Guild.

Selected Professional Experience:

Administration & Marketing: 1992-1998

  • Skills: Marketing and sales of multi-million dollars properties, public relations, coordination and community outreach; fundraising, administrative assistance, editing, grant writing.

Administrative Assistant/Shower:

The Corcoran Group, 660 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Habitats/7,000 Square Feet for Sale in TriBeCa

Managing Editor & Assistant to the Coordinator of Creative Writing:

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Creative Writing Department. Edited proofs, interfaced with the publisher to redesign the journal, and established an advertising base for the national literary journal New Delta Review. Penned a successful State Arts Grant supporting the journal for the following year, and assisted the Poets and Writers readings series in Creative Writing, which brought internationally known writers such as Paul Muldoon and Andrea Barrett to the program.

Faculty Coordinator and Producer:

UNC-Wilmington. The Vagina Monologues. Coordinated play rehearsals, publicity,  educational materials, community outreach for student performance, and raised more money than any previous production.

Sales: 1984-2008

  • Skills: Sales, merchandising, customer service, special orders, events support, and gallery shows.

Assistant Manager:

A Singular Place, Main Street, Santa Monica, California. The first fine crafts gallery in Santa Monica featuring Dale Chihuly and other nationally known artists specializing in glass.

Assistant Manager:

Martin Lawrence Gallery, Brentwood, California. Showing Warhol, and contemporary print artists.

Assistant Manager:                            

Nature’s Own, Santa Monica, California. Called ‘the best store of its kind’ by the New York Times, I worked for four years assisting clients such as George Harrison, Cher, Billy Crystal, Ed Asner, the Sheen family, among many others.

Other: Freehand, Sonya Currie, and Jurassic.

Catering Assistant: Ambrosia, Santa Monica, California. Assisted with The Academy Awards, film openings, and parties.

University Instruction: 1998-2005

  • Skills: Course development and presentation of ten courses from three departments; research, student conferences, as well as evaluation of student work from freshman to graduate student level.

Adjunct Faculty:

University of North Carolina-Wilmington, English, Creative Writing, and Women’s Studies

Courses Taught: ENG 373 The Female Tradition in Literature, ENG 210 Women in Literature, ENG 110 World Literature Surveys; African American Women’s Literature, ENG 100, 101, 103, 201 College Writing & Reading; CRW 207 Fiction Writing; WMS 210-Introduction to Women’s Studies, WMS 495-Seminar in Special Topics.

Also see the following link: Masters of Liberal Studies Program

Sample English Courses:    

ENGLISH 373-The Female Tradition in Literature: Study of the ways in which female authors follow and challenge literary conventions to inscribe their own traditions. Texts: Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, The Awakening, Housekeeping, The Bloody Chamber, Live of Girls and Women, relevant short stories by Atwood; critical essays from Gilbert and Gubar, and others.

ENGLISH 210-Women in Literature: Twentieth Century Literature by and about women, focusing on images and roles of women as reflected in these texts: A Room of One’s Own, Wide Sargasso Sea, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Beloved, Bridget Jones Diary, White Oleander, The Lovely Bones, and selections from The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women.

Other Experience: 1989-2001

  • Skills: Lecturer, Workshop leader, Actor, Panel Participant, and Concierge

Guest Lecturer, California Institute for the Arts: Critical Studies Program. Los Angeles, California. Theatre performance and Q & A for students in the BFA playwriting program.

Actor, Dramatist Guild of America: Performances in Los Angeles to assist playwrights in the development of original works written for the theatre.

Manuscript Mentor/Panel Participant, Literary Festival mentor and participant for undergraduate students in the BFA program at UNCW.

Part-time Concierge & Office Support, Huntley Hotel, Santa Monica

Awards and Recognitions:      

  • William Faulkner Festival Scholarship: Awarded LSU Writing Scholarship to attend the Faulkner Festival in New Orleans, 1998. (Met Gary Fiskejon of Random House — huge kick.)
  • Significant Impact: Recognized by the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs and Dean of Arts & Sciences for making a significant impact on UNCW students’ lives, 2003-2005
  • Champion-McDowell Davis Scholarship: Nominated for artistic excellence by Creative Writing Department, University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Personal Interests:

Travel, art museums,  film, theatre, international business trends, media, books, nature, tennis, developing new ideas and inventions, and international cuisine.

  • Selected Professional Reference

Barbara Corcoran/President
The Corcoran Group




Rebecca Lee – Writer/Professor





Clyde Edgerton – Writer/Professor





Elan Durham


europabridge1 on Twitter


341 Broadway Avenue, Cambridge, MA. 02139 



#AdventuresinParadise #Hackgate Romantic Comedy Revenge Caper … Bespoke Roles for …


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As some of you may know, I studied acting in LA and NYC for about a decade before turning more seriously to writing and screenwriting … getting a MFA, teaching writing for seven years at an American university, and then going back to what I love best: movies.

Part of what motivates me to write screenplays is the amazing work I’ve seen over the years from actors I admire and would like to provide work for through my screenplays … ‘Adventures in Paradise’, a sequel ‘Return to Paradise’, ‘Kelmscott Manor’ (for Matthew Macfadyen), ‘The London Apprentice’ (for Kate Winslet, Simon Pegg, and Daniel Craig), ‘Pride and Prejudice and Teddy Bears in 3-D’, and ‘Borrowed Light’ based on my book.

So for your consideration, here are some of the actors I thought about when I was writing ‘Adventures in Paradise’, which is completed and looking for a producer, director, and studio.carey-mulligan-5391

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Matthew Macfadyen as Clive Reade, Billionaire Hotelier-Prince-of-a-Guy with a talent for high finance, romance, and slapstick … Clive sets the bar high for men … and hardly ever disappoints …

Starring opposite Carey Mulligan as Aurora Blunton, Reporter-Writer-Kate Hepburn-like double troublemaker …

Emily Blunt as Diane Gregory, as TV Design Show Entrepreneur and Clive’s scheming ex … and Jamie Dorman as Trent Cortigan, a California Millionaire-Playboy-Mercenary-Blagger … too hot to handle.

Emily-Blunt DianeJamie as Trent                          


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Streep as Emma

Peter Egan as MP






Somewhat flighty but powerful Editor-in-Chief Eleanor seemed perfect for Meryl Streep opposite Peter Egan as Owen, a tight-lipped sexy, curmudgeonly MP-Gent.

There are other major roles, wonderful roles that I just cannot picture yet, though they’re written quite specifically … For instance, Clive Reade’s father, Augustus who Clive visits over the New Year on Lake Geneva … It’s such an elegant whimsical role, filled with wisdom … And Aurora’s mother Katherine, who provides wit, wisdom, and good claret. Clarence Stapleton, a Dickensian character who saves Clive from the worse kind of tabloid claptrap … The eccentric and lovable Lord and Lady Bumbley-Knowles (per P.G. Wodehouse), and supporting roles for Melanie, a very bad girl … or perhaps she’s not really a girl at all? Enid and Marc two bickering reporters who are also a couple, Henry, Clive’s affable Valet, Lewis, Clive’s able Chauffeur, Mildred, a Hacker, and on and on … 

And DCI Brattle, who I’ve decided could be a good role for Kevin Spacey. He does Southern scumbag very well, but can he do a corrupt British cop? And I could not write a screenplay set in London without thinking of Maggie Smith, as Angelica … Legendary MP and thorn-in-the-side to Owen. Kevin Spacey as DCI Brattle

Maggie Smith as Angelica


Christopher Plummer as Cecil Dietrich, Editor-in-Chief of The London Standard … Michael Caine or Ian McShane as Cyrus Aechelleos … Editor-in-Chief of The Sentinel and Cecil’s nemesis.Michael Caine

Chris Plummer as Cecil











I wrote Emma for Emma Thompson, Clive’s longtime friend and financial wizard, who cannot stop meddling. And Emma Stone would be great fun as Iris, Harry’s girlfriend and comic sidekick . (Bit of Judy Holiday for Clive’s dinner party.)

Emma T as EllenEmma as Iris

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Rupert Graves as Robert Bullock, Villainous Editor-in-Chief and betrayer and Jack Black as Charlie Lohan, Tabloid Pap (Bah!) and Stalker…

Jack Black as Charlie Loman

Rupert-Graves-as Robert B

Fleet st

Julia as Margot

Gillian as Jillian

James Cromwell as James Whitworth

Kenneth Branagh as Harry

Bill Nighy as Nigel
























Kenneth Branagh might want to dabble in Harry, a Booker Award-winning writer, who does not suffer fools gladly. And Bill Nighy might take a stab at Nigel, a neurotic writer who whines beautifully, (as only Bill Nighy can do) … I thought only of Michelle Dockery as Stella, a wittily icy Celebrity Reporter who has some of the film’s best lines, and of Richard E. Grant, as a comically suicidal Investment Adviser.


‘Adventures in Paradise’ starring, supporting, and featured roles, some forty of them, are all gems … Julie Ormond might want to take on Margot, a fabulously successful Murder-Mystery Writer and witty drunk, and James Cromwell would suit up well James Whitworth, Clive’s dry-as-dust Solicitor … I thought of Gillian Armstrong when I wrote Jillian, a clear-eyed Columnist with a poetic heart. 

And there are CAMEOS for Joanne Lumley and Adele on a British TV show I invented for the film ‘Britain Talks!’ hosted by Eddie Izzard, and CAMEOS also for Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Steve Coogan …  and ahem! … Prince Harry, if they want them.Prince Harry 

A big film with big ambitions, ideas, huge comedy, drama, and revenge plots … Very, very much fun! 

Finally, there are also two supporting players who should charm audiences … Miss Smokes, Clive’s rescued kitten who only has one or two lines (meow, meow) but charms nevertheless … And Tippy, Aurora’s miniature Italian Greyhound, who provides Aurora with companionship, during a tough time …Miss Smokes

Actually, I knocked myself out writing this film so that people will return to see it again and again in the theatre, and on DVD twenty years from now … Check out my about.me page for a bit more info or  more on my Adventures main page.

Tippy Greyhound

Location, Location, Location – Cornwall UK – ‘Adventures in Paradise’ – Hackgate Screenplay


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Hello all … europabridge scribe and author of ‘Adventures in Paradise’ Hackgate romantic comedy-revenge caper screenplay now writing and tweeting away in Boston …

A brief post about locations in ‘Adventures in Paradise’ as there are many, and for good reason.

Before I returned to the US, I covered perhaps as much as 100,000 miles in my travels, and conceived of my Adventures screenplay as a way to revisit my vision of the world as seen from the perspective of airplane windows, taxis, ships, hotel rooms, trains, and other transportation modes — in a more global than local view of life. Frankly, local sucks.

I’ve also used the script at times as a postcard of sorts, and promotion for travel to the UK, because I am happiest when traveling – especially in the UK and certain parts of Europe – Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Italy, France … isles-of-scilly-pelistry-bay-beaches-1432-large.jpg

So … ‘Adventures in Paradise’ features major settings in London (ten), scenes in Cambridge (village and campus), the Cornwall Coast (two), as well as Lake Geneva, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and various island retreats like Anguilla, and the Maldives … Clive Reade, my hero, conveniently owns a luxury hotel-resort chain similar to Relais & Chateaux or The Viceroy 5* Hotel and Resort Luxury brand.

Durdle Door, Dorset … Ancient ancient coast … The picture-postcard approach to filming ‘Adventures in Paradise’, once the romantic aspects between Clive and Aurora heat up, greatly appeals to me, and I think it appeals to many film-goers. Some of the most successful films have had vibrant LIVE locations, and I love and stand by the idea of an international film that will also provide tons of bonus travel features on the companion ‘Adventures in Paradise’ DVD boxed set, with a special emphasis on travel to the UK – along with interviews with the actors, Director, and other creative cast and production crew about their impressions of the shooting areas, the locals, and attractive features.

A solumn promise, however: there will be no 3-D version of ‘Adventures in Paradise’, as we do not need to see the EU protected and unique Cornish PASTIE in 3-D!

Or do we?

At any rate, because I’m enamored of the Cornwall Coast (home to Le Carre, Agatha Christie, and Daphne Du Maurier), I want some of the romantic sequences in ‘Adventures’ to be filmed there, in addition to a scene featuring my Cornwallian Chef -Clarence Stapleton in his new restaurant – STAPLETON’s.

The romantic aspect between Clive and Aurora in ‘Adventures’ is somewhat submerged, and may be more of a subplot, due to the fact that Clive and Aurora do not come together as a couple until some 90 minutes into the story … all while avoiding each other, bumping into each other, and finally discovering they actually LIKE each other. You might chart their progress like so: starting as enemies, becoming wary colleagues, very good friends and Hackgate-tabloid investigators-adventurers, and finally a couple in love. Actually, their relationship becomes one of the vehicles for how the film solves its many mysteries. This is why I call it a Romantic Comedy-Revenge Caper …

After unraveling a number of tabloid boondoggles and mysteries together, all quite taxing and exhausting, Clive Reade and Aurora Blunton take a long weekend in Cornwall where they wander around … Fistral Beach, Newquay, St. Ives, Polreath, Penzance, Fowey, St. Mawes, or Scilly Island … Clearly the DIRECTOR and LOCATION SCOUT’s choice but I’m voting for Scilly Isle, (as William and Kate did on their honeymoon.) Sometimes I use a montage technique in the Cornwall scene between Clive and Aurora. Other times there are comic moments they discover as a dynamic between themselves, and once they even challenge each other to a drinking contest, which Clive wins hand-down, and all to disprove some tabloid allegations … such that at the end of their long weekend – after boating, walking, golf-carting, chatting, and dining – Clive and Aurora fall marvelously in love.

Is it the friendly people, great seafood, excellent wine, stunning landscape of Cornwall, or removing themselves from the madhouse of the London paps that finally seals their fate? And can American audiences wait that long to see two stars like Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan or Anne Hathaway fall in love? Clive Reade and Aurora Blunton? Tresco blog scilly isles

I am not exactly a pushover but even I was bowled over by this lushly romantic, long weekend they share on the Cornwall Coast …. alongside scones, Earl Grey Tea, pasties, drinks, seafood, bushels of English roses filling every vase to overflowing … and the wind from the Cornish coast blowing through the windows, and finally … the inevitable, which turns out to be just fine (i.e. no one suddenly dies!)

If you want to find out more – check out my Screenplay for the Adventurous blog to see who I’d like to cast in all the many interesting and challenging roles I’ve written for Adventures in Paradise. Or my more recent brief one about who I’ve honed in on, in my recent edits … For instance, why in the world didn’t I think before of Meryl Streep as Emma? Portland Harbour Dorset

FOLLOW & DM me on @europabridge1 on Twitter …


Screenplay for the Adventurous – ‘Adventures in Paradise’ Hackgate Romantic Comedy-Revenge Caper by europabridge


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Hello all … europabridge author of ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ the Hackgate romantic comedy-revenge caper screenplay.

Thought I’d tell you all a bit about my casting ideas for the screenplay, an original work recalling aspects of Network, To Catch A ThiefCharade, and British ROM COMs, as well as Hollywood Screwball Comedies … (and that’s more than enough for now).But before I do that, I thought I’d offer a few thoughts about this winning shot of Audrey Hepburn from Charade one that I’ve cribbed for my Twitter profile, as well.audrey hepburn sepia

What interests me about Charade mostly is the balance between a sadistic world (mob-like murders), and the charms of the two leading stars whose charisma and humor keep the film from toppling over into a twisted exercise in Grand Guignol …

After all, in dealing with Hackgate, as a romantic comedy-revenge caper I’ve had to bypass the heavier issues, such as the death of Milly Dowler or the McCann tragedy or the heinous murder of Daniel Morgan … not because I lack the chops to write a darker film, but because I saw an opportunity to have fun with a landmark media case.  My rationale, not unlike the writers who wrote the Screwball Comedies of the 30’s was to provide a bit of fun at the expense of the creeps. In short, we see the evil-doers get their asses kicked, we feel better.

And of course, I also wanted to avoid lawsuits. People’s lives have been invaded enough … They certainly not need no further invasion by me.

Still, people do break the law in ‘Adventures in Paradise’, they have intentions that are anything but honorable, and lives are ruined – in the sense of being cheated, invaded, slandered, humiliated, and mocked. But still, the film hero and heroine (Clive and Aurora) discover who the culprits are, set the media and legal hounds upon them, and live another day to  … well, you’ll have to see the film when it opens – in 2014 – to find out more.

I have written about who I think would be interesting main casting choices for ‘Adventures in Paradise’, and so I wanted to share my ideas about casting possibilities for Adventures.

After all, I have a polished screenplay ready for some genius agent, director or producer – weighing in at 130 pages – and a sequel – ”Return to Paradise’ in the works.

And both feature tabloid lunacy, stalking, blagging,  hacking, Hollywood farce, romantic betrayals, comedy, sniveling idiotic villains, glamorous cars, drama queens, world travel, 5 star hotels, resort and restaurants, Dickensian struggles, and love.

And it’s all lots of fun, really.

After spending many months crafting the role of Clive Reade, I’ve decided Colin Firth is the best candidate for this incredible man of the world … A win/win situation, very good deal, indeed.Colin Firth represents an obsessive aspect of Clive Reade … A man who is so absorbed in his empire he doesn’t realize he is soon to be engaged to a world-class uber-bitch … A man who deserves only the best, and gets it in Aurora Blunton. A man who can wrangle billions while speaking poetry with aplomb (though not very often, as we do not want Americans throwing up popcorn and KitKat bars in theater aisles). A man who can trounce a villain at a dinner party with his singular wit, while throwing legendary parties in London. A man who can romance an intelligent, lovely young woman, and win big despite getting punked by an uber-bitch. A man who travels the world via private jet, drives a Bugatti around Lake Geneva, and acts opposite some of the very best talent around … Jesus Christ, will someone buy this script from me, so the world can experience Clive Reade? Next to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, this is the British man of the 21st Century, in my opinion.

Aurora Blunton … Aurora is written for a woman in her early thirties, so she’s not an ingenue but her experiences in the tabloid trade have put her in a vulnerable position … Later she emerges clearer, harder, and diamond-like after her caper-like investigations with Clive remove the junk from their lives.

I don’t want to reveal too much but surely what happens to her at The News & Times, The Sentinel, and in between reveals a scummy tabloid underbelly which stands for being assaulted by the media.

An actress I’ve thought of as a perfect match for Aurora but who would also bring her own unique qualities to Aurora is Anne Hathaway, also featured in other of my blogs.

It’s easy to see her deliver the comedic aspects of Aurora, as well as a heady romantic side, and the more serious qualities in scenes with Clive, and in the media.

But let someone else sort it out.

By the way, if you could somehow meld the directing talents of Richard Curtis with Ridley Scott, you’d have the perfect director for ‘Adventures in Paradise’ …

Though sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my mind around Love Actually wedded with Gladiator.

‘Whenever I get gloomy about the state of the world, I think about the arrivals at Heathrow Airport’ (Hugh Grant V.O. as PM) … ‘Are you not entertained?’ (Russell Crowe as Maximus)

Or how about this unlikely hybrid from Four Weddings & A Funeral and Alien:

‘It’s hell out there … Matthew’s trapped with an evangelist from Minnesota’ … ‘I admire its purity … A survivor unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.’ Ha.

It’s difficult to weigh the entertainment value these directors have delivered over the years, but surely these few films alone have done double-duty.

In the way of co-starring roles, there are many … I once tried to tally or roughly approximate the number of roles in ‘Adventures’ including extras, and came up with something like 250 players.

For your consideration, James McAvoy.  I’ve enjoyed the Scottish actor’s work in Starter for 10, The Last King of Scotland, and other rougher ventures, and would like to see him cast in my film. Originally I thought he’d make a convincing Dorian Grey-like Robert Bullock, smoothness on the surface — bristling with menace underneath … But I changed the age of Bullock to make him a contemporary of Clive Reade’s, so McAvoy is too young. Perhaps he can play Enid, one of those complaining academics – unintentionally hilarious because the world does not match their data … Mr. McAvoy, would you care to play a gay man who argues constantly with his lover about over-eating, and provides useless bits of information at dinner parties to everyone’s feigned astonishment? Of course you would.

After I had aged Robert Bullock somewhat to be a contemporary of Clive Reade’s, (which the plot needed), I thought of many actors, who could play him, and settled on Rupert Graves. 600full-rupert-graves He would expertly chew the scenery with Colin Firth, and with whomever is cast as Aurora Blunton … But there is also a key scene that he’d have a ball with, and that is the party scene on Portobello Road near the end of the film. This is the kind of front-page Daily Mail tabloid news bust that’s somewhere between La Cage and Richard III … My romantic-comedy revenge-caper might need a ‘R’ rating. I hope ‘MPAA’ will do.

Taylor Kitsch for the role of Trent Cortigan, a character who uses Diane Gregory for the sole purpose of causing grief in Clive Reade’s life, in one of his many intrigues to include spying, hacking, stalking, and blagging. This is the kind of bastard role Paul Newman perfected in films like HUD — except Trent has incorporated Gordon Gecko’s philosophy, and gone him one better. See him in Gaga’s Boys, Boys, Boys video. I loved Taylor Kitsch in John Carter on Mars too …

Another key villain role is that of The Mustachioed Man or Loman – tabloid stalker, hacker, smarmy self-important snoop, and prat-fallist who conveniently supplies the film with someone to loathe and laugh at, and he comes with a sense of self-righteousness too. Jack Black has the kind of self-absorbed mania and comic potential to take the role of a despised stalker and make it a winning role – a lasting impression of comic villainy. jack-black

Michael Buble. I like his vocal qualities, and would love to hear some of his music used throughout ‘Adventures’ because his voice is so … well, bubbly, velvety, and upbeat.

I also want him appear at Clive’s private dinner party bash toward the end of the film to sing A Foggy Day in Londontown.

Buble runs circles around Sinatra any day. michael-buble1

Speaking of legends, David Bowie in a cameo at the end of the party scene in ‘Adventures’ – sitting at the shiny white grand piano plunking away at the chords of FAME – makes a lot of sense to me … And people would jump at a chance to see him as there is simply no one in the world like him.

While guests are milling through Clive’s beautiful Belgravia Square mansion, I’d like Bowie to appear suddenly, wordless, and sit down at the piano …

Elizabeth Hurley ActressElizabeth Hurley is a possible candidate for Diane Gregory for two reasons. I thought of her sex appeal and sense of danger when I wrote the role, and felt casting her as someone who stupidly ditches Clive Reade for a younger man would create a kind of irony … And she has the kinds of *balls* to pull it off …

Emily Blunt would also be a great choice for Diane Gregory.

Already she has turned in so many varied roles it is clear she could pull off an outrageous role like Diane, and still have film-goers enjoy her exploits. This really is the key to Diane: Outrageous but somehow still being likable. This is why, by the way, people loved the evening soap stars like Joan Collins – a sense of fearlessness on camera that Blunt definitely has in abundance.

Blunt would also understand how to work her mojo for Diane Gregory making her an interesting character to follow in my sequel – ‘Return to Paradise’.

Did I mention Prince Albert makes an appearance in ‘Adventures’? He appears in a portrait in Clive’s penthouse, and serves as a kind of silent guardian over Reade’s life.

Julia Ormond is suggested for the possible cast because I was reminded, after reading an interview with her in The Guardian UK, of her obvious talents. Think she would be fine in one of the two key roles in the very long dinner scene (20 minutes) at Clive’s mansion on Belgravia Square: Margot or Eleanor … But I am leaning toward Margot, world-famous mystery writer, comic, caustic, self-obsessed … full of ripping retorts. And it would be a wonderful change of pace for Ormond.

Put that woman in a slinky silver gown, put a martini in her hand, and let the show begin!

After reading about Emma Thompson’s EFFIE, I realized my treatment about the Pre-Raphaelites (focusing on other artists in ‘Kelmscott Manor‘) somewhat parallels hers and Greg Wise’s material. Then I recalled Thompson’s screen persona, and promptly plumped the role of Eleanor (no coincidence), an investments person/friend of Clive’s.

Frankly, the dinner party scene is a tour-de-force, and having women like Julia Ormond and Emma Thompson cast in ‘Adventures’ will create an even bumpier ride.

Other supporting roles written for major British talents, where they might parade their skills at dinner party banter include: Dame Maggie Smith, Christopher Plummer, Michelle Dockery, Gillian Anderson, Richard Grant, and Dudley

emma-stone-ny-mag-cover-2And I’ve written a supporting role for Emma Stone, in a reprisal of Judy Holiday, as a clueless financial adviser at Clive Reade’s dinnerWhoever directs ‘Adventures in Paradise’ will have his/her hands full with 30 dinner party guests, and dialogue at the table and throughout the mansion, and even cameos by the pets.

Look, I had as much fun as I could writing this script … knowing there are people out there who have not sold their last brain cell into bondage, and can still enjoy a really well-made comedy-caper set in London … and other fabulous places around the world.


I inserted this photo just for laughs. Taken at Starbucks; obviously pink underwear was the thing to wear that day. No role for this guy in ‘Adventures’ though. Sorry, apply elsewhere.


Supporting Pet Cast … ‘Smokes’ has so much class she has her own made-to-scale Victorian divan in Clive’s luxury penthouse apartment. She also has her own booster seat with seat belt, in which to ride in the limo … She speaks French, bien sur, and will no doubt start a rabid trend toward adopting grey Persian kitties. In addition to this, she gets along famously with a miniature Italian greyhound pup of Aurora’s …

Introducing ‘Tippy’ (yes, a reference to Hitchcock).  She has a non-speaking role, nonetheless she is an important addition to the Reade/Blunton household, as buddy to ‘Smokes’, TV critic, and unilateral dispenser of wise sound-barks … Plus, her toenails make a pleasant tapping noise on Clive’s hardwood floors.


Is that all? Not really …


There are nine major shooting locations, one of them Geneva in the Pregny Chambesy canton … Nothing could spoil this view!Lake-Geneva-001

Thanks for stopping in @europabridge … source of amazing screenplays for the adventurous.


Clive Reade – Tabloid Drek into Academy Gold and Box-Office Champagne


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Hello All …  europabridge scribe here, author of ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ the Hackgate romantic comedy-revenge caper screenplay. I believe I’ve nailed the 18-86 age niche film market in my feature film, and though I am heavily biased toward educated film-goers … Hackgate Smackgate, it’s already a classic!articles hem,passegen.se Firth

At times it has been a bit of an exhausting process creating Clive Reade, who I fully expect to go down in film history as the answer to all women’s needs – after Mark Darcy and Cary Grant, of course. And I really did study the nuances of British speech when writing ‘Adventures in Paradise,’ though to be honest, I’ve been studying them all my life, as I began reading Shakespeare at the age of seven.

When I wanted Clive to exude an impossible decency and romantic gallantry, speak a line or two of poetry, as well as bestow a huge Graff diamond on Aurora Blunton, I wrote dialogue and action thinking specifically of Colin Firth. And I drew some inspiration from other British RomCom actors like Hugh Grant, while also looking at Matthew Macfadyen and Clive Owen. But basically I decided the role was so thoroughly engaging, and demanding that Colin Firth would not only tackle it but nail it.

And then I put Hugh Grant in a cameo at Clive Reade’s (Firth) dinner party, where all of London converges on the evening of a great unmasking.

My overall intention in writing Clive Reade was to create a character so thoroughly likable by both men and women, that people will pay to see ‘Adventures in Paradise’ several times over in the theatre, and then run out to buy the DVD Boxed Set with Special Bonus Features – including a documentary on Hackgate, excerpts from the Leveson Inquiry, a Travelogue of all the shooting locations, including London, Cambridge, Cornwall, Lake Geneva, Bel Air, West Hollywood, Santa Barbara, Anguilla and the Maldives, as well as some interesting bits and pieces from all the actors and the Director’s Commentary.

Colin Firth would have a challenging task, as Clive Reade is nothing if not daunting in terms of how dominant a role it is.

Clive Reade in ‘Adventures in Paradise’ (registered with the WGA) requires whingeing on occasion, Buster Keaton goofiness, gallantry, romance, occasional brutal wit, and a mean right jab … as well as stature, and skillful maneuvering of a Bugatti around Lake Geneva … ultimately winning big for himself, Aurora, and the Empire.

Who wants to pick up the Oscar for Best Film (as Producer)? Best Actor?

Gentlemen, take a short bow:

‘Well, thank you all very much. I am so very honored to accept this Award from the Academy, but must take a moment to thank all those people involved … especially europabridge, scribe stranded in Podunk Vt and Boston, Massachusetts for an inhumane length of time … all while penning such a remarkable script – not to mention the sequel ‘Return to Paradise’.

Ahem … Don’t mention it, guys.

Hey, that’s me to the left as a naive struggling actor in LA.

Henry! (butler in ‘Adventures’) More drinks all around! I feel a new era of film-making about to dawn … I hope whoever directs ‘Adventures’ will let me quietly observe – off in a corner somewhere … sipping my glass of Pouilly Fusse.

That tall middle glass looks large enough!

Died of TV Guide – Leveson, Hackgate, and Press Reform in Adventures Hackgate Screenplay by Elan Durham


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Hello all … europabridge here … author of the original Hackgate screenplay ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ and other projects … MFA, ex-academic, traveler, and future dweller in London, Scotland, and Cornwall, I hope.

A few thoughts about why I’m on Twitter after I tried writing a post riffing on the old 60’s and 70’s social commentaries, and died of TV GUIDE … Still, after following the Leveson Inquiry and the Hacked off! Media Reform Rally in London, and following people and events on Twitter, I thought I’d add some thoughts relating to my own Hackgate-inspired ‘Adventures in Paradise’.

Though I am interested in Hackgate, the Leveson Commission, and fairness in the media, as well as in social life, for the record, I am not a social revolutionary, (or even a Socialist). For instance, I’ve not attended an Occupy protest, though I support any nonviolent effort to protest issues that do need addressing. The last protest rally I attended was more than a decade ago – peopled by millions of men, women, and children in Washington DC who were concerned about women’s reproductive rights. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke there among many other notable non-terrorist or anarchic influences. As this topic is unfortunately still alive (when it should have been settled decades ago), I hope any controversy concerning the right to privacy or other indisputable civil rights is put into its proper context, just as the right to decide what to do with your own body is also put into a proper 21st century context.

However, rather than imagine a world where all inequalities or absurdities are erased, which is impossible – I’d like to imagine a world that functions with a sense of fairness and reason, as opposed to being guided by a predominant ethos of all the spoils going to the rottenest, f**k ’em, we only live once.

Bernie Madoff, and his cronies who preach a pound of flesh (your first-born or your mother) have become models for a bankrupt economy, every human being merchandized to feed the Machine. They rob the system, such as it is, of integrity. They rob people who have done nothing but make the fatal mistake of believing in some inherent decency seem like utter and complete fools … Like me.

But what does all this specifically have to do with the Leveson Inquiry, Hacked off!, and press reform?

I am reminded of Dan Hodges original response to Hackgate in The New Stateman. Yes, Hackgate happened, and it will happen again because the people want it. They want to hear Hugh Grant‘s conversation, they want to capture those tunnel death photos of Princess Di, and they want to know who’s shagging whom, in the ever-shifting power plays of Hollywood, New York, Washington DC, London, Paris … because don’t you know … ‘Nobody rides for free … Pay up or play!’ By the way, I heard an old buzzard say this last winter in Vermont, after which I stepped behind a bush, vomited, cleaned off my mouth, and then went about writing ‘Adventures in Paradise’. You can’t please everyone, and some you especially want to avoid pleasing.

Information is knowledge. And misinformation is also a kind of power that can be used against whomever we want to harm or control for political purposes or financial gain, and as I have learned over the course of the past several years – sometimes just for malicious sport.

Misinformation surely is one of the most powerful tools of all …

Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation. I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.‘ What remains is bestial after your privacy, name, family, career, and person have been invaded by these sociopaths for ‘the right to know’. ‘How to malign as a way of reshaping the social, political, and economic landscape’ might be a more apt title for our information-age. Most people know about my story in some NOTW lurid version, which would perhaps include the long-lost academic career of Clifford Irving in Woody Allen’s version of my life – looking more like Zelig everyday – complete with Scarlett O’Hara’s kidnapping by Big Joe to be auctioned off in Shanty Town to Carpetbaggers – alongside livestock or abandoned pets from Mormon Animal Shelters … (Anyone got an extra dog cart? I need to go to Canada.) Will the real Elan Durham please step forward out of the steaming morass of unholy shite?

Writing ‘Adventures in Paradise’ rather than many more polemical letters to unresponsive editors (130 to be exact), or blogs, for that matter, the result is much more entertaining, witty, and enduring than a rant. Perhaps it is also my tribute to the women who dared to forge ahead in Aurora Blunton. She is my very own Leveson Inquiry.

Aurora c’est moi! Sorry Flaubert, such an abused turn-of-phrase.

Aurora Blunton is also a celebration of the kinds of female characters I grew up looking at in movies with Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Greta Garbo, Irene Dunne, and Myrna Loy … She is at once light as a feather, has the gravitas and intelligence of a British barrister, and the appeal of a major movie star. Only in my movies!

‘Adventures in Paradise’ is a statement about the life of the community, the press and its standards; celebrity, the pursuit of any story no matter how fabricated, absurd, and ludicrous, and the glare of the limelight … Some of the themes I’ve observed, and endured since the private life was abolished around the year 2000. (Thanks to an Irish lad busking about London for the provocative photo below).Hacking, stalking, expressions of online hate, and tabloid gossip go much deeper than aspersions cast upon a person’s appearance, political views, or status in the community or world.

They represent concerted efforts to change the course of human history by creating an acid so strong that it etches away, and destroys all evidence of civilized life, such that no human witnesses remain. Perhaps this is the legacy of the McCarthy era and Nixon Administration, after all.

What kind of world do we live in when characters like Paul McMullan mingle together to conjure up a thumbs up or thumbs down agenda for whatever hapless dunk-drunk draftees ends up in the docket of world doom.

Can’t you just hear the roar of the crowd? See the fists with down-pointed thumbs? Unholy wieners & stale beer! Talk about fascist populism.

Even Tony Blair’s PR guy Alastair Campbell couldn’t escape menacing threats. And the British public subsidizes this kind of hooliganism, with more than half a billion dollars of tax pounds per year?  

Thus, ‘Adventures in Paradise’ is my response, a fleet-footed film for people with enough brains to think, also a window to escape through for a few hours, to have a laugh, or the last laugh … For the rich, the poor, the press, the hard-pressed … hopefully to live on in the public imagination for decades.

And, by the way, ‘Poncey’ Hugh Grant has demonstrated he is nowhere near the ‘bitter oleaginous’ figure The Daily Mail caricatured in their smear campaign, though really, anyone who has been stalked for decades by the tabs might be said to have every right to be bitter.

Never in my lifetime of more than half a century have I witnessed so much violence, so much rancor, and so few civil amenities from the press or from our so-called civil order in America, where I am presently grounded.

What does it mean to be fully human, and can a press begin to approximate the values necessary of preserving society?

Heavy questions indeed, which is why I chose to write a romantic comedy-revenge caper lightly based on the facts of Hackgate, rather than a Watergate-style expose.

Perhaps we can all agree upon one thing: At the end of the day, people need a break from reality. I do not trivialize the events of Hackgate in ‘Adventures’, but rather place them in a context people will enjoy watching, a context which will endanger no one, and that still manages to address all the key issues while entertaining, distracting, and yes, (gulp,) even instructing.

Finally, it is probably more accurate to call ‘Adventures in Paradise’ a dramedy – a mixed genre film sprinkled with romance, revenge, satire, glamour, travel, tabloid intrigue, corruption, and betrayal – one that ends happily for my hero and heroine. I love the way the story ends – every moment of happiness hard earned and believable.

Clive Reade: Nothing If Not Daunting discusses the challenging nature of the role, which puts the actor in all but perhaps 30 minutes of the film.

Click on this link to read a bit of dialogue between Clive and Aurora in a phone conversation.

Thanks for stopping by europabridge … And feel free to Tweet, repost, or reference in your own blog with an acknowledgment to @europabridge1 on Twitter …


Clive & Aurora Meet — Dinner Date Scene — ‘Adventures in Paradise’ A Hackgate Romantic Caper by Elan Durham europabridge


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Hello all … Breaking news from europabridge, scribe and author of ‘Adventures in Paradise’ Hackgate Romantic Comedy-Revenge Caper screenplay …. firth_hathawayx-large

As some of you know, my screenplay based on the events of Hackgate set in London, Cambridge, Cornwall, Lake Geneva, LA, Santa Barbara, and various other locations is essentially all there at 130 pages.

If this film does not make 326 million pounds worldwide in the first few months of box-office – long BEFORE rentals – then I know nothing about movies.

A brief scene from “Adventures in Paradise” follows.

By the way, in case you wandered into this blog unawares, part of this material originated in a letter I wrote to Dan Hodges in the UK protesting his editorial which rather pooh-pahed the events of Hackgate. His offhand OP/ED incensed me, but at any rate definitely inspired my screenplay.

Why is my script 130 pages long? Because there is a conspiracy, and where there is a conspiracy there are necessary subplots, many characters, and resolutions which need sorting out – unlike your typical romantic comedy.

ADVENTURES IN PARADISE Elan Durham @europabridge1 (WGA registered.)

NOTE: This scene is satirical in context, as the viewer knows Clive is accusing Aurora of more than she can reasonably take responsibility for. He’s also whinging a bit, and feels guilty because he has done something dastardly to her that she knows nothing about – yet. However, he more than makes up for all these intrigues later on when they meet.

Finally, I’ve not bothered with camera instructions or anything technical in terms of focus … This blog is all about the push-pull dynamic between Clive and Aurora, which becomes the basis for their later compromise, and massively compatible relationship.




Clive is online, absorbed, studying some properties, while also checking a printout. He blindly picks up the phone – somewhat distracted.


Yes, what is it? (catches himself) Bloody hell, Reade here.


Mr. Reade, I was just thinking just the same.


Thinking what? Who is this?


Aurora Blunton — of (embarrassed) The Sentinel. And I bloody hell hope you won’t hang up on me.


(long silence …)

Ah yes, what do you want now, Ms. Blunton? And how did you get my cell number?


Please Mr. Reade, I’d like very much to take you to lunch. I’ve some explaining to do.


Lunch? … Are you joking?


No. I want to explain how your life ended up on my desk, if apologies are accepted at this point –


(cuts off)

Well, it’s rather late in the day for that, don’t you think?


And … to ask a favor.


I see. Well, favors are usually granted to friends and family and you fall into neither of those categories.


Perhaps … But I was hoping …


No hope possible, I’m afraid. You screw up people badly, you defame them through the tabloids, you make absurd allegations about my finances and emotional and mental states, and continue the assault for weeks, whilst yours truly takes cover from the slings and arrows your pathetic rag creates with endless storms of piss and shit – and inside my own penthouse no less – only to be compared to that lunatic in Castaway –



I had nothing to do with that ‘Castaway’ bit.


Doesn’t matter! And to add insult to injury, you have the nerve to ask me for a favor, as if I were a mate of yours from school.


Mr. Reade, I would never impose upon someone with whom … I have so little claim – the obligations of friend –



Your facile self-justifications only expose the degree to which your profession has sunk into the muck and the mire. (bloviating) Grow up, Ms. Blunton!


Well, now that you put it like that, I would have to agree … I feel like the biggest horse’s ass in London.


Horse’s ass? Well really, I never implied you were a horses ass – actually.


Further, I apologize for ever having troubled you, Mr. Reade, and will ring off now.



You didn’t answer me. How did you get my cell phone number?


Someone at The Sentinel gave it to me. I told them I needed a scoop.


Someone at The Sentinel! Well, do you?


A scoop? Not in the least.




Honest injun.


All right then, I suppose I’ll concede a brief meeting.


You will?


Yes, but Diane Gregory is off limits. And so is that whole bloody affair.


Yes, of course. Thank you! All right then (breathing, consulting her computer), how do you like 1:00 this Monday, Mr. Reade?


(consulting his computer)

Can’t make it, noon on Tuesday?


Tuesday? No, I’m sorry, I’m afraid that won’t work either, as I have a meeting with my Editor-in-Chief I can’t break – yet.



How about later – say 2:00?


I also have a deadline for later that day, Mr. Reade … How about Wednesday at 1:00?


That would back up to my Solicitor’s meeting.


Well, Thursday I have an assignment in Shepard’s Bush – and Friday I’m returning to Cambridge to see my mom. But I could cancel that and –


(suddenly intrigued)

Ms. Blunton, what would you say to dinner with me Saturday evening?


Dinner?! As in eating food at night?


Yes, as in eating food at night, unless you’ve more important business scheduled for snooping, Ms. Nosy Parker —



Absolutely not, where do we meet?


I’ll pick you up at your place – be ready at 7:00. Whereabouts do you live?


Bloomsbury Square, #15, Mr. Reade.


Ah Bloomsbury. Looking forward to hearing what that favor is all about, Ms. Blunton … See you on Saturday.




(ludicrously stern)






What the hell came over me?


This is one of the earlier scenes which set the tone for Clive and Aurora falling in love (90 minutes into the film), despite an industry that blackened both their lives – leaving them no way out – except with each other.

Oh, for crying out loud this is a screenplay not a documentary, so lighten up … It’s a neat little puzzle that works perfectly but only in the logic of the movies.

Related articles

Diatribe against defensive posturing (I’m not British) Seed of ‘Adventures in Paradise’ Hackgate Screenplay by europabridge


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Hello everyone, europabridge here … reporting from Boston.

This blog concerns the letter I attempted to post at the New Statesman in response to Dan Hodges blog there … which they did not print. I can’t imagine why but I think it’s relatively interesting that I knew right away NOTW would go down.

Dan Hodges in  New Statesman July 7: “The Phone Hacking Scandal is a Disgrace. And it Will Happen Again.”

And those other co-conspirators. The great British public. Phones are bugged because we want to read what’s on them. Police are bribed because we want to hear the stories they have to tell. Politicians acquiesce because despite out strenuous denials, when they tell us how to vote, we listen.”

Using my letter as the basis of Clive Reade’s complaint against Aurora Blunton in my ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ screenplay, this, in essence, started me on my quest to create the perfect blend of satire, romantic comedy, and revenge caper, and you can read that here. It also became useful in a BBC conference statement I have Aurora Blunton present in a scene where she busts her newspaper ‘The Sentinel’ for Hackgate-like actvities … Exciting stuff.

Letter to New Statesman: (Probably around 7/7/2011)

Dan Hodges facile, unctuous self-justifications only expose the degree to which his profession has sunk into the muck and mire. Come clean? Impossible! ‘We’ll be back!’ … The toxic heroes of misinformation, public shame and blame are guaranteed a living, ladies and gentlemen, whilst the rest of us are stuck feeling merely human with our outrage.

In fact, ‘we’ do not want your caviling; nor do we want you hacking into phones–unless it happens to belong to an international mobster, terrorist, or someone like Bernie Madoff …

Further, the NOTW is not indispensable. A paper with better standards may come along to replace it, and I hope that it does so soon.

And as far as the Guardian being on ‘its last leg’, a debatable claim at best, this must be due to the fact that it has not been complicit in bugging everyone’s arses in the UK.

That Hugh Grant did more to expose the sleaziness of this practice (along with The Guardian) speaks volumes about the press; give him the bloody Orwell since journalists at various other venues were too busy justifying the thuggery of a new era of lawlessness.

Mr. Hodges, may I make an observation? You stink with your “Ain’t it lovely that we’re really rotten, but the public is even worse and stupid to boot because they give a crap. Another round of drinks for our colleagues at International News!”

Regards, Elan Durham

Oh dear. Well, it was a big deal … and still is.

By the way, I follow @DPJHodges on Twitter, and we have since discussed Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, so I do not hold a grudge. And for the record, I do find my response to be a bit overheated.

Finally, that my letter was not printed motivated me to write ‘Adventures in Paradise’, a witty, sometimes scathing global romp set among the ruins of the tabloids that may be as good as Rear Window … (I hope.)

Dan Hodges does not write for The New Statesman anymore but pens political blogs for The Independent. And as you probably know, I am on Twitter looking for an agent for Adventures in Paradise, its sequel, and Kelmscott Manor, a Pre-Raphaelite mystery.

Thanks for checking in @europabridge.

For Your Consideration … Teddy Bears or Assorted Ridiculous Things by europabridge


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Hello all … europabridge here … scribe, and author of ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ the Hackgate screenplay, and other various projects.

Let me introduce you all to a teddy bear I traveled some 100,000 miles around the world with …

His name is (unremarkably) Teddy, but I say it with an English accent which somehow makes him seem more appealing.

I tried Nigel and even Aloysius but decided Teddy suits him best.

He drove all over Scotland with me, stayed in hotels in London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and pretty much all over the United States.

At present, he acts as a buffer on my head at night to block out the sounds of cretins who don’t understand the sacred quality of peace and quiet, or as a compress when I cannot sleep or sometimes as a pillow … Very multidimensional, that bear. Teddy’s ambitions? To start his own line of cashmere bespoke teddy bears for Marks & Spencer.

He has some wonderful ideas about how to create his own family of teddy bears to be given and shared, and then passed down from generation to generation.

But he may have to wait a while until my film’s in production, as we will need seed money for Bespoke Cashmere Teddy Bears. English accents have that effect. Try them, and you’ll see.

They take over your life, and next thing you know, you’re writing screenplays for English actors for films set in London – with locations on Brides Church, Fleet Street, Eaton Square, Belgravia, Upper Brooks Street, Heathrow, Gatwick, The Thames, Bond Street … not to mention Cambridge, Lake Geneva, Cornwall, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and various luxury island locations!

You’re sitting around for eight to ten hours every day trying to create the perfect screenplay (Adventures in Paradise), so that you can take England by storm …

Eat at Claridges … Or have tea at The Lanesborough and check into one of our favorite hotels, the lovely and gracious  Dorchester! …Or stay at The Montague on The Gardens in Bloomsbury …

Get a title, and move into a mansion in a beautiful area …

And visit the Queen.

P.S. Teddy likes Elizabeth in yellow …

Hold tight Teddy!

That’s one ambitious bear … Teddy sometimes imagines his brothers and sisters might be waiting for him, somewhere on the Cornwall Coast … where we want to retire and write screenplays and literary mysteries like Daphne Du Maurier.

He imagines his Cornish Teddy Bear friends are waiting JUST FOR HIM! But when all else fails, Teddy gazes up into the clouds … and communes with the great Teddy Bear God in the Sky … (Images from 5-8 seconds) or sometimes he even says a teddy bear prayer to the Great Scottish Lamb God … (Dear Lamb, please let us live with the Cornish bears!)

These Teddies do seem to be waiting for someone, don’t they?

Leonardo DiCaprio, Keira Knightley, and Matthew MacFadyen in Kelmscott Manor – A Pre-Raphaelite Mystery …


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Hello all … europabridge scribe here … reporting from the beautiful city of Boston!Hope it brings me luck.

Though I am on Twitter to report on my screenplay Adventures in Paradise, and to hear from everyone there about their work, the subject of this blog is Kelmscott Manor – my screenplay which concerns the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, their art, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, and Jane Burden, who enjoyed a special friendship as key players in the Movement …

Certainly a special working relationship existed in the brotherhood of artists preserved in paintings, architecture, gardens, needlework, and philosophical writings … all about which I began a screenplay more than a year ago, and in Sweden, no less.

(Dante Gabriel Rossetti to the left … See any traces of Leonardo there?)

I wrote the treatment with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew MacFadyen, and Keira Knightly in mind … But it was the striking resemblance of Knightly to Jane Burden that struck me first, her ideal qualities for the role, and then something about Rossetti reminded me of DiCaprio too, and I wondered how these two would parry on the screen together.

Matthew MacFadyen then became a natural choice for Morris – a creative genius whose designs and artwork have haunted me for decades.

DiCaprio could make a fine Dante Gabriel Rossetti – a role combining some of the best of his film insights, and hopefully some new essence he has yet to find in himself.

Emma Thompson’s Effie looks at different characters from the Pre-Raphaelite period, though she has someone contesting the rights to her script, which she wrote with her husband Greg Wise (Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility). I’d say these ideas are floating in the Zeitgeist now, as the TATE recently opened a new show exploring the Pre-Raphaelites influence on Modernism.

Kelmscott Manor is a contemporary through-the-looking-glass film with a historical counterpart … meaning all three players, and at least two supporting players are seen in double roles. All the character’s lives mirror each other but also affect each other in a kind of Schrodinger’s Cat physics logic.

It’s inexplicable but somehow likely (and satisfying) that when the 19th Century characters cease, the contemporary characters live on, and learn to live differently partly as a result of the lives on the other side of the looking-glass.

Keys are left for the characters to pick up … And Knightly picks up one such key in her research as a professor at Oxford, which leads to a new dimension opening up in her life with her Rossetti counterpart.

At one point, Knightly (playing both Janes) stares at her historical double, and then walks through a mirror into her other in some alternative pocket in time – where the plot picks up again.

It’s a metaphor for how we interact with ideas and presences from the past who haunt our lives, influence our thoughts and actions, and teach us about our most personal selves. (William Morris above, portrayed by Mathew MacFadyen per my casting.)

Really now … Is it so unthinkable that we might visit these lives in some cinematic version of reality, which is at least sometimes more interesting than our mundane existences?

The film is set in London and Oxford, where the contemporary academic environment, and the historical worlds are played out through parties, discussions, research, creations of art and restoration of architecture, fighting and love-making … all captured in equally beautiful cinematography, and virtuoso acting – in my mind, anyway.

I imagine a film all by itself, and completely original, and yet still bearing some relationship to a Merchant Ivory production, and Joe Wright‘s lyrical Pride & Prejudice. What I’d like to do is get #Adventures in Paradise produced, the sequel #Return to Paradise optioned, and then also option #Kelmscott Manor as a project that might come out in 2014-2015. Obviously, it needs to be produced and directed by people who care about the artistic and cultural developments and preservation in Britain, and people who also care about the dimensions of these characters, who I find fascinating, cultivated, brilliant, and also somewhat indulgent.

This is also the kind of project that would firmly take Leo DiCaprio out of J Edgar Hooverland’s closet – and place him back into the romantic leading crazy-man category. Which he needs, I suspect, and without murdering his wife and children, Shutter Island style. And Leo’s going to take a bullet again in his role as Jay in The Great Gatsby.                                                                                                    DiCaprio has wrapped shooting Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby in 3-D (Bigger & Better than ever!), and I’m in Boston, after traveling for almost two years around the world, while trying to get investors interested in my film scripts, so that I can move to the Cornwall Coast, buy a cottage, and write more amazing scripts and novels … At present, I have a Cornwall mystery planned based on the writing and life of Daphne Dumaurier with Kate Winslet in mind.

Work cures all, when the gods of commerce don’t come through.