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?
I saw Monster of Florence in Borders the other night, and might have actually picked it up if I had any money or time to do reading that isn't school-related. (Well, aside from movie blogs, apparently.) It looked really interesting. Also haven't heard of Champions, but these both sound like interesting projects.
Lady Aerin on Nov 16, 2008
Champions sounds effin awesome. Secret Agents, Advanced civilizations, Superhuman abilities? Im in there like swimwear!
big r on Nov 16, 2008
I have vague but postive memories of The Champions from its brief US broadcast period. I seem to remember it had an undercover (as they were a secret agent team-2 men and a woman?) aspect to it that was well done. As I recall, the champions themselves were a little weirded-out about their abilities/roles in life, a la Heroes, and this aspect, played with cool British understatement, added to the show's appeal.
zubzwank on Nov 17, 2008
as long as Tom Cruise has nothing to do with it. And Mr. McQuarrrie's screenwriting talents leave something to be desire. Look at how Singer, Cruise and McQuarrrie have botched the story of Claus von Stauffenberg (and I have studied military history and WW2 extensively and have read numerous biographies of Stauffenberg), the mystical young German count whose eyes were finally opened to the horror of Hitler. I saw the trailers and TC was horrible for the role. He was practically a midget, five-seven, playing a six foot three young man who had to literally look down to look at Hitler because the latter was the same height as TC. Please keep Tom Cruise away from the Monster of Florence, a good book! I hope that he doesn't attempt to play Douglas Preston, a fine writer and a great gentleman!
kyrie on Jan 7, 2009
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