I have a small list in my head. It’s not a big list, but it’s an important list. It’s a list of movies that I would like to see Hollywood make. The list I chose is in no particular order, Some of them are based on books, some are biopics and some are just things I have never seen done.
THE IRISH PELE GEORGE BEST.
I have toyed for years about writing my own movie about the iconic soccer legend, because the man was the Jim Morrison of Soccer. He lead quite a colorful, but tragic life. Part of my movie Derby Double came from the general idea of George Best. My lead Character didn’t live the partying lifestyle, but he was just as talented.
The 1966 World Cup was such an achievement for English Football, that I am surprised the English have never made the movie. Why not? There are definitely some interesting plot lines that you could weave into this movie. Who could play the Great Sir Alf Ramsey. I know the perfect man, Anthony Hopkins. You see England was never expected to win this tournament and the fact they did, blew the English into hysteria. There were also so many colorful characters on that 1966 team, that it begs to made with some humor. Jack Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Jimmy Greaves and Alan Ball were all colorful, so when you cast those guys you’d have to cast them with actors that would do them justice. Then there’s the Geoff Hurst story. Brought into that final at the last minute because Jimmy Greaves could not go, because of an injury. Geoff was the true hero and was the man that scored the hat-rick to bring them World Cup glory. The Movie could be titled, the Man Who Wasn’t There?” He simply snuck in without anyone marking him. It was a play that his own Manager Ron Greenwood crafted for him at West Ham and Greenwood was an Assistant on that team. If this movie were done it would simply be one of the best movies done about the beautiful game.
THE TEMPLE OF GOLD:
Based on the book by William Goldman(Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.), it tells the story of Ray Trevitt, whose parents call him Euripedes, His father is a cold fish who teaches Greek Mythology at a small college in a small Illinois town, not far from Chicago. We basically follow Ray through his turbulent adolescence, his confusing love for a girl who suffers depression and his friendship with a girl who really loves him. The book is poignant, funny and leaves you with a better understanding of what it is like to deal with mental illness. This was a book my Mother introduced to me and it remains my favorite book. It should be made into a movie.
Leon Uris’ tale about the roots of Irish troubles. It was the first book I read that taught me what the troubles were all about. It has never been made into a movie and I am not sure why. If you got this book into the hands of the right director, it would be an academy award winner.
No, not the Shakespeare classic. What we’re talking about here is an altogether different movie. In fact it could possibly be a mini series. I have an idea for one, which I call the “White Boar”, which was the banner that Richard III fought under during the Battle of Bosworth. Why a movie about Richard since we already know so much about it. Quite frankly until I read two books, I really didn’t know anything about the man. What I had heard, was written by William Shakespeare and that was a bit biased and a bit of revisionist history under Tudor times. He’s portrayed as a conniving man, who will stop at nothing to put himself of the throne, including delegitimizing his nephews, locking them in the tower and having them murdered. Did he really do it? I have my doubts. As I said I read two books on the subject, Richard Duke of York is shown in an all together different light. One was a fascinating biopic by Paul Murray Kendall, who deals with Richard from his childhood through his death at the Battle of Bosworth. The other was a fictional detective novel by Scottish writer named Josephine Tay, who questions whether Richard really did do it. In the book she utilizes a bored detective sitting in a hospital after he is put of commission. To cure his bored mind, he asks a friend to bring him some pictures of historical figures so he can figure out some of the great mysteries in life. There is only one known picture of Richard III and the woman brings him this picture and asks him, if the man is a villain or a hero. It was a fascinating book and brings about some of the very questions Murray-Kendall’s biopic presented. If this were to be a mini series, I would start at the heart of the reign of Henry VI and about the time Richard was born and work through his life. There are many things people don’t know about Richard Duke of York. First of all he was the younger brother of Edward IV and one of the King’s best military advisers, who showed no signs of wanting the throne for himself. He showed nothing but loyalty to his brother. There is also evidence that when Richard took over as Regent for Edward V, that he had many advisors, some he could trust and some he couldn’t. One was the Duke of Buckingham, who had his own claim to the throne. He was instrumental in suggesting that Richard should get rid of the princes because they were illegitimate. I always thought that perhaps a more balanced version of the man would be far better than what history has told us.
THE PAUL GASCOIGNE STORY:
During the Spring Semester of College I was at New England College, the Arundel Sussex English campus. I had just been selected to be one of many actors in a theater troupe performing shows all across the British Isles. Coming back to the school and the Theater program that my father had started, put me right smack dab back in the middle of my Soccer obsession. I saw Gazza(As he was known) in one match. He was playing in a match for Newcastle United against Liverpool. He was a young 16 year old apprentice and I could tell just by the way he passed, just by the way he moved on the pitch, there was something special about this kid. The one problem was he was raw and had a penchant for doing some daft things on the pitch. After the tour was over, I moved back to the States and life took me in another direction. 1989, I had moved to Vermont and managed to find a little bookstore in Burlington called Chessman and Bem, which carried British Newspapers, like the Guardian and the Observer. This was great, because I could follow soccer again and low and behold I started reading about the exploits of Paul Gascoigne. Not just his on pitch antics, but his off pitch too. Later I saw some video clips of Paul in action during the late 80’s and 90’s. He was no longer with Newcastle, Gazza was with the mighty Spurs. What I watched was a talent I had never seen before. He was a player who could do anything. He had incredible pace and could unlock defenses like no one I’d ever seen. Gazza was dizzying to watch on these clips, but there was also those very strange moments that happened on the pitch. The 1990 World Cup Semi final comes to mind. He had already received a few yellow cards during the tournament, and in the Semi against the Germans, Gascoigne made a vicious tackle on a German player. He received a yellow card for that foul, which meant he would not play in the Final if England went through. He simply became unhinged. Gary Lineker had to console him and there’s a famous shot of Lineker motioning Bobby Robson, he better have a substitute ready because Gazza was losing it. Those were the moments that humanized Gazza, but there was something else going on with this man. He was tormented off the pitch with alcohol issues, being arrested a few times of drunk driving and then there were those moments when Gazza would be hit with deep bouts of depression. Gazza was probably the best English talent of his era, but it was the depression and alcoholism that caused his career to end far sooner than it should have. He still struggles today with depression and alcohol problems. If a movie about this man was done right, it would be deeply interesting. It shouldn’t just be about Football though, we should capture the life of a deeply troubled man.
BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE:
If there has been a movie done on the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie, supposed heir to there English throne, I’ve never seen it done. He is a hero to many Scots and a deeply compelling figure. I have done a little research about the man and have a movie in mind that I would like to do.
Robert McCammon wrote this brilliant book back in the 1990’s. It is set in the deep south of Alabama and concerns one child’s realization that the world is not always as it should be as you grow up. Things are not always safe, things don’t always allow you to be a child growing up in what should be your most innocent time. The book has a lot of humor in it, but a whole lot of intrigue and suspense and even a sea monster. A book that would be an awesome summer movie and would definitely get families into the movie theater.
STONES FROM THE RIVER:
In the mid to late 90’s, Oprah Winfrey decided to get out of the sensational talk show racket. She decided she had enough of the Sally Jessy Rafael type show and decided to do more of a thinking person’s show and a show that could help people in a positive way. One of the things Oprah did was have a book of the month segment. Enter one of the most incredible female writers I have ever read named Ursula Heggi. She wrote this incredible book about a dwarf during the Holocaust. Hearing about it, made me want to read it, so I asked for it for Christmas. I was not disappointed at all reading about the life of Trudy Montag and how she would climb up to a bar and hang so she could grow. What an incredible book as it follows her life and her families through a turbulent time. It’s poignant and beautifully written, Why this book has still not been made into a movie, I don’t know, because it should be and I’m sure if it were in the right hands, it would be Oscar worthy.
THE SPLENDID SPLINTER.
I want to know something. Why has there never been a movie done on the Splendid Splinter? I’ve read a few books on this man and he is definitely worth a movie. From his early days starting out with the Red Sox, to the battle for 406 are indeed interesting. Add in his wars years as a fight pilot and hero during world war 2 and you have a damn good idea for a movie. I would certainly see this if it were ever made.