Hello all … europabridge author of ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ the London 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 Thief, Charade, and British ROM COMs, as well as Hollywood Screwball Comedies … (and that’s more than enough for now).But before I do that, I’ll offer some thoughts about the winning Charade.
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, and we feel better!
And, of course, I also want to avoid lawsuits. People’s lives have been invaded enough … They certainly not need no further invasion by me.
Nevertheless, 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 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 — hopefully in 2018-2019 to find out more.
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. Both feature tabloid lunacy, stalking, blagging, hacking, Hollywood farce, romantic betrayals, comedy, sniveling villains, glamorous cars, drama queens, world travel, 5 star hotels, resorts, and restaurants, Dickensian struggles, and love. And it’s all lots of fun, really.
I have thought about who I think would be interesting choices for ‘Adventures in Paradise’, and wanted to share my ideas about casting possibilities.
After spending many months, nay, years crafting the role of Clive Reade, I’ve decided Colin Firth is a great candidate for this incredible man of the world … A win/win situation, very good deal, indeed.
Colin Firth could easily represent the obsessive aspects of Clive Reade … A man 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, and throw legendary parties in Belgravia. A man who can legitimately romance an intelligent, lovely young woman, and win big despite getting punked by the tabloid press …. Who travels the world via private jet, drives a Bugatti around Lake Geneva, and will act opposite some of the very best talent available …
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 humble but not very silent opinion).
And now for 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 already put her in an extremely vulnerable position. Later she emerges clearer, harder, and diamond-sharp after her caper-like investigations with Clive remove the third rate junk from their lives.
I don’t want to reveal too much but surely what happens to her at The News Register, The Sentinel, and in between reveals a scummy tabloid underbelly which stands for being lynched by the media, by men with less than honorable intentions, and by misogyny as a whole.
An actress I’ve thought of as a perfect match for Aurora but who would also bring her own unique qualities to Aurora is Carey Mulligan.
It’s easy for me to see her deliver the more wry, comedic aspects of Aurora, as well as the heady romantic and serious side in scenes with Clive, and in her bravura performance at a conference about press reform in London.
Let someone else sort out the casting … These are my top choices but I’ll admit to thinking Benedict Cumberbatch would also make a very fine Clive.
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. 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 in Belgravia 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 that I think Graves would rock and roll through … My romantic-comedy revenge-caper might need a ‘R’ rating, but I hope ‘MPAA’ will do.
Another key villain role is that of The Mustachioed Man or Tommy Lohan – tabloid stalker, hacker, and smarmy snoop, who conveniently supplies the film with someone to laugh at and loathe … Jack Black has the kind of self-absorbed manic and comic potential to take the role of a despised stalker and make it a winning role – for a lasting impression of comic villainy.
Michael Buble. I love his vocal qualities, and would like to see him appear at Clive’s private dinner party bash toward the end of the film to sing A Foggy Day in Londontown … How’s that for class?
Emily Blunt would make 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: she’s outrageous but likable. And this is why, by the way, people love soap stars like Joan Collins – she has 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’, where she goes after Clive with the intentions of winning him back.
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), as a solid supporting role and investments banker/friend of Clive’s. Frankly, the dinner party scene is a tour-de-force, and having Emma Thompson cast in ‘Adventures’ will make it 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 Phyllida Law.
… I’ve written a supporting role for Emma Stone too, in my reprisal of Judy Holiday’s wacky blonde sidekick, in Iris, a clueless financial adviser at Clive Reade’s dinner. But whomever directs ‘Adventures in Paradise’ will have his/her hands full in this penultimate scene with 20 dinner party guests, fierce dialogue up and down the table, and even cameos by the pets.
Look, I’ve 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 … So pass the word: perhaps film has not been entirely swallowed up by X-Men and superheroes.
I inserted this photo just for laughs. Taken at Starbucks in LA; obviously pink underwear was the fashion trend for the day …. No role for this guy in AIP … Sorry!
Is that all? Not really …
There are nine major shooting locations, one of them Geneva in the Pregny Chambesy canton … Could anything could spoil this view! Well, maybe …
Thanks for stopping in @europabridge1 …