PAST PROJECTS

 

SREDNI VASHTAR

(temporarily suspended)

In generous recognition of my slave-like call to duty on Omen III aka The Final Conflict , 20th Century-Fox gave me the loot to write, produce and direct a short film of my own to accompany Omen III on its UK release in 1981. The result was Sredni Vashtar, based on a 3-page short story by Saki (aka H H Munro). The making of the film was unalloyed pleasure from start to finish: I wrote the script in 48 hours, cast my mum as Aunt Augusta, my long-time friend Sacha Puttnam as Conradin, and other close friends in the remaining parts, shot the thing in a week, cut it in two days... and within six weeks it had won the BAFTA award for best short, as well as an Oscar nomination. Never again have I experienced quite such zen-like freedom and bliss!

The film runs 28 minutes, and has been compressed to 40mb (= reasonable quality).

 

NAPOLEON

This script was commissioned by Hallmark in 1999 as a 2 x 90min for NBC. Thanks to Depardieu's rival French TV production of Napoleon, the project got shelved, but such was my passion for N that I extended it into 3 x 90min and have been tinkering with it ever since. God knows why, I doubt that it'll ever get made, but I think it the best thing I've ever written - largely because 70% of N's dialogue is by N Bonaparte, not A B. The copyright is partly Hallmark's, partly mine, mostly N's.

 

THE LOST BOYS

Written back in 1978 for the BBC, and available on DVD from amazon.co.uk. Since this page is a sub-page of my Barrie site (jmbarrie.co.uk) I won't repeat myself here, except to point out that it has nothing to do with vampires.

 

THE CEMENT GARDEN

Written in 1982, finally filmed by good self in 1991, and available on DVD from amazon.com bon both PAL and NTSC.

 

THE TRIAL & EXECUTION OF JOAN OF ARC

While working with Luc Besson on his Joan of Arc: the Messenger, I compiled my own version of her trial and execution, based on the various transcripts of the time, assuming that Luc would want to use at least some of it in the third act. In the event Luc had his own views of Joan - he though she was psychotic whereas I considered her inspired, thus her trial was reduced to about three minutes to make way for Dustin Hoffman in the castle attic...

This version of Joan's trial and execution is more or less my own translation, based on (aka stolen from) earlier English translations, as well as the occasional cross-reference to the original records in old French and Latin where the meaning seemed doubtful. My Latin just about extends to "Caesar ad sum jam for tea", but thanks to help from Adam Beresford we were able to make new translations of key sections, not only of her trail, but the subsequent "Trial of Rehabilitation", which I'll post up later. Amazing material, for as Mark Twain wrote, "The details of the life of Joan of Arc form a biography which is unique among the world's biographies in one respect: it is the only story of a human life which comes to us under oath, the only one which comes to us from the witness stand."

 

INSIDE THE THIRD REICH

Written back in 1972/73, while spending many months in Germany with Albert Speer. I still have over 40 hours of taped conversations with him, pouring over every aspect of his life and the script.

 

PETER PAN

Written in the early 80's, initially for Francis Ford Coppola, but when Zoetrope went down the toilet the project was transferred to Paramount. In my version, Hook was Barrie's doppelganger, and Peter... well, "make of him what you will". When I handed it in, Jeff Katzenberg called me with good news and bad news. "The good news is we love the script." And the bad? "Steven wants to make his own version and doesn't want to read your script." Steven who? Spielberg. End of story, my only consolation being that Paramount also binned Barrie's 1920 screenplay....

 

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Another project that ended in the basket whence no script returns, this time for Warners. I book-ended the story with Alice's father as a mathematician trying to crack chaos theory, and had a scene wherein the caterpillar stuffed his hookah with Dodgson's equations, from whence emanated the Mandelbrot set as multi-coloured smoke. Probably why the film was never made, though it got me into quantum mechanics and paid off my overdraft, so no complaints...

 

Finally, a link to my son Anno's site ...