The write stuff l .M
ALEX GARLAND, author of The Beach, gets the credit for writing the screenplay to DANNY BOYLE and ANDREW MACDONALD’S latest collaboration. But did he actually write it?
Words: Catherine Bromley
ust who was it who wrote post-apocalyptic Brit flick 28 Days Later. anyway'.‘ Was it. as the
screen credits claim. Alex (iarland. author of highly successful noyel 'I'lii' Bear/i"? ()r was it a case of
the director. in this instance Danny Boyle. making his own film from a raw script supplied to him by (iarlandl’ Or maybe it was the money man. producer Andrew Macdonald. safe-guarding his inycstnicnt by taking ideas from both (iarIand and Boyle to strike the riqu balance in the script‘.’ The answer. of course. is all of the aboye.
At a recent press conference. (iarland didn't seem much in the mood for taking the credit for anything. Maybe he‘s always like this. Maybe he just needs a little encouragement. which he certainly gets from Macdonald. Boyle and one of the stars of the film. Naomi llai‘ris. throughout the course of the conference. The latter eyen goes so far as to say: ‘I think it's one of the best scripts that I‘ve ever read.~ Now that‘s debatable. but let's get back to the point of who actually wrote it.
‘When I think of it.’ says (iarland. ‘I think of it purely in terms of a collaboration. In many ways if both Danny and Andrew said: "Look. we feel we want to share the writing credit." I‘d probably say: “Yeah. OK."
But despite the fact that (iarland maintains ‘all three of
tis were figuring out what we thought the thing could
be. over a period of six months in maybe 45 sets of
l'c\'isiolis and rewrites‘. it’s still (iarland who gets the credit. Prior to 28 Days Later. (iarland had never before
26 THE LIST ()c'. '-2 Nu. ,IV
Strikes a balance between sci-fi lhorror homage and something contemporary and fresh
The Trainspotting team meets the boy from The Beach
written a screenplay and maybe he never would have had it not been for his striking tip a friendship with Macdonald after the producer and Boyle made a film otit of his 1998 novel. The Ht'llt'll. Macdonald wanted “to make a film which had the same energy and excitement of reading one of his books' — something he failed at doing previously with the film version of The Bear/I.
(iuided by Macdonald. (iarland was encouraged to write a sci-fi screenplay. which. the writer concedes. was wholly derivative of noyelisls John Wyndham (scenes set in a deserted London are lifted wholesale from Day aft/iv Willa/s) and JG Ballard (Ballard takes a premise. say in The [hung/it the absence of rain. and builds an apocalyptic scenario from it in the same way that (iarland uses the ‘rage' virus that infects Britain) and the horror films of zombie king (ieorge A Romero.
Although struck by his initial ideas. especially the one of starting the film ‘28 days‘ after the apocalypse which allowed the filmmakers to save millions on the budget. Boyle did not share (iarland’s Vision of making a post- apocalyptic genre film. He wanted the film to be more rooted in reality. and while he shot some scenes in deference to (iarland’s wishes (later left on the cutting room floor). his influence on the script gives it contemporary cultural comment on the proliferation of rage in British society. ‘I think if you just did a zombie movie like a Romero film. they'd feel completely dated now.‘ he says.
Which is where Macdonald steps back into the fray. to strike a balance between (iai‘land's sci-fi/hori'or homage and Boych desire to make something contemporary and fresh. (‘Iearly he's acted as mediator and contributor to the numerous rewrites the original script endured. thereby ensuring the investment of his company I).\'A Films and the success of this collaboratiye project.
General release from Fri 1 Nov. See review, page 28.
Lights out, let the scares commence
THE ONLY SCREENING outside London of The Shining -- Director's Cut comes to Edinburgh's Fiimhouse Sunday 3 November. But a ‘director's cut”? Did Stanley Kubrick make changes to his adaptation of Stephen King's haunted-hotel tale from beyond the grave? And how different is this version? This is Kubrick's full. uncut. longer version of the 1980 film. originally shown in Cinemas in an approxnnately 25 minute shorter verSion. The original cut of the film includes numerous scenes not seen before. The most notable of these are Wendy (Shelley Duvalii back at home haVing Survived husband Jack's (Jack Nicholsoni descent into psychosis. more on the mysterious 'room 237' and an extended. gruesome version of Jack chopping up Dick Halloran with an axe.
A LAST MINUTE CHANGE TO the Filmhouse’s Hallowe’en horror movie all-day event means that Hideo Nakata’s follow-up to the Ring films, Dark Water, cannot be shown. But don’t fret, instead there’ll be a preview screening of Takashi (Audition) Miike’s already notorious gore-crazy yakuza thriller Ichi the Killer. AMEL/E STAR IN BUNNY honor shocker! That's right. Audrey Iautou follows up her role in the hit film of the same name wrth the French ‘erotoinania' thriller lie Loves Me. lle eves Me Not isee i'eVIew next lSSllOi. And young writer-rlirector. Laetitia COIOllllXIlll, is coming to the llllllllOllSO on Wednesday ‘43 November to talk about her film debut.
HOLLYWOOD IS IN Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen 2-3 Nov looking for a ten-year-old boy to play the lead in a film version of Greyfriar’s Bobby. For info phone 0207 925 0707