Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Danny Davito and Ewan McGregor are all slated for major roles in a Hollywood blockbuster retelling the story of Neil Heywood’s murder in China, with filming due to start in Pinewood and Chongqing as soon as someone can come up with a suitably implausible script. The as yet untitled movie is intended to be the first to appeal equally to both Western and Chinese audiences, although so far, the only ethnic Chinese actors hired are Bert Kwouk, better known as Cato in the Pink Panther films, and Jackie Chan, who will play Mao Tse Tung in the flashback scenes.
‘This is a story that has everything,’ said Dreamfilms CEO Tim Van der Street; ‘Spying, intrigue, sex, politics, mystery, dancing girls, violence, rock music, spicy food, dancing girls, espionage, huge wealth and dancing girls. It’s got the dramatic backdrop of the most powerful emerging nation
in the world, boy-meets-girl romance, and the intriguing case of a mysterious British man (Tom Cruise) who was permanently cremated, possibly even before he died of alleged poisoning, allegedly by the love-starved wife of a corrupt politician, who shot him to alleged death at point blank range, in front of official CIA prostitutes awaiting the visit of alleged Barack Obama. Obviously we’ll play down the sex scenes and turn up the volume on the kung fu component for sensitive Chinese audiences.”
Filmworks, the co-production partner in association with HBO and Universal have an option for backing from Legendary Films, who have secured lucrative product placement contracts from Coca Cola, Macdonalds and Rand Lover, and a deal has been struck with Canal Plus for a seven minute closing title sequence, so people who stay to the end can find their lost car keys while listening to J-Lo, singing the yet-to-be- written theme tune by Paul McCartney.
Co-executive Producer Mike Wallis told a Santa Monica press conference: “The interest in this amazing story has been huge. As soon as someone can spell out to the writers exactly what the f*ck happened and why, and we can find some more Chinese actors, we’ll make a start. There is a guy who says he can explain the whole thing, but he’s asking too much for it and stringing us along.’
‘But if he’s not careful he’ll find himself dead in his Swarovski bathtub locked in a North Face holdall, with no apparent clues as to how he got there, not even on the iPads and gadgets left on the coffee table. A complete and total mystery,’ said Mr Wallis, ‘and that’s your sequel, right there.’
22nd April 2012