Christopher McQuarrie Adapting Monster of Florence and The Champions
by Alex Billington
November 16, 2008
Oscar winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie has picked up two more projects to work on next. He will adapt both Douglas Preston's bestseller "The Monster of Florence" with producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk) as well as "The Champions", a British TV series from the late 1960s with Guillermo del Toro producing and writing as well. "The Monster of Florence" tells of a writer's experience investigating a heinous crime that had occurred years earlier on his property. "The Champions" followed the adventures of a team of secret government agents who are rescued from a Himalayan plane crash by an advanced civilization and given superhuman abilities. Both sound like very interesting ideas and I'm glad to see McQuarrie writing again after winning that Oscar for The Usual Suspects in 1996.
McQuarrie explains that "The Monster of Florence" is a "surreal account of two writers opening a proverbial Pandora's box with their research. They witness first-hand how the misguided good intentions of others allow evil to flourish, eventually becoming a part of the story themselves." Shortly after moving his family to Italy in 2000, author Douglas Preston learned that an olive grove on their property had been the scene of a brutal murder. Teaming with Italian journalist Mario Spezi, Preston began investigating the crime, which was part of a series of eight double homicides between 1968 and 1985. "Still unsolved to this day, the crimes captured the horrified attention and imagination of the Italian people, and consumed enormous resources--nearly one hundred thousand men were investigated and more than a dozen arrested."
As for The Champions, the project has long been one of Guillermo del Toro's side projects, of which he said he would write and produce as of last November. McQuarrie explains that it is a "great premise with fascinating potential; I wanted to be involved from the moment Guillermo and I first discussed it." He added the source material was too strong to pass up, which makes this another interesting project. I admittedly don't know much more about the actual TV series, but putting The Usual Suspects screenwriter and Guillermo del Toro in the same room can only mean we'll be seeing great things. No word on when either of these projects may go into production, but at least McQuarrie is hard at working putting together screenplays for each. Stay tuned for more details on both projects! Which one sounds better?