the state of things

 

Movie Update for THE LONG MIDNIGHT OF BARNEY THOMSON

by Douglas Lindsay - 14:53 on 04 December 2012

So, this is the text of a piece that appeared in the Daily Record yesterday:

HOLLYWOOD star Robert Carlyle is set to make his debut as a director with a film about a Glasgow killer. The Scottish actor insists the time is finally right, after more than 20 years in front of the camera, to make his own movie.
Now a comic crime tale set in his home town has fired his imagination.
Robert said: “I loved cinema while growing up and, for the longest time, wanted to be a director.
“I am trying to adapt a book called The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson for a movie that I hope to direct next year. And I say ‘hope’ with my fingers crossed.
“It’s a quirky, interesting, dark comedy about a barber who accidentally kills two or three people.
“The reason I took so long to think about direction is that I respect the business too much. Direction is a very, very tough job and takes an awful lot of your time and brain cells.
“So if you don’t find something that talks to you, it’s never a good idea.”
The Long Midnight Of Barney Thomson was published in 1999 and is the first of seven novels about a misfit Glasgow barber. Just like Trainspotting – the Irvine Welsh novel which became a hit film starring Robert – much of it is written in Scots dialect.
Author Douglas Lindsay was born in Lanarkshire and studied in Glasgow before moving to England.
The ex-MoD worker has tried unsuccessfully to get his work on the big screen before. He claims the title role was rejected by Ewan McGregor, Robbie Coltrane and Billy Connolly.
Douglas said: “I believe the intention is, that as well as directing, Robert will play Barney, which is great.”
After a spell living in the US, Carlyle, 51, returned home to Glasgow 10 years ago and vowed never to move away again.
His latest movie, California Solo, in which he plays a faded rock star, was released last week.

Actor Robert Carlyle, in the typical attire of a Glasgow barber, c. 2012

The crucial part there is where RC says, 'Hope with my fingers crossed.' So let's not anyone get carried away. As noted in a previous blog entry on this site, concerning the time in the Dark Ages when the screen option was first taken out on this book, FILMS DON'T GET MADE. So, we'll see.

Some things to note:

My participation in the movie is akin to the participation that the farmer who grows the potatoes has in your sausage and mash. I wrote the book, the producers took the film option, and I sit back and wait to see if something happens. Having neither met nor spoken to RC, our relationship goes no further than me having seen The Full Monty and him never having heard of me.

Movies take a long time to get going. RC has been involved for a while, and I don't think anything has changed in the last week other than that he mentioned it in an interview.

I hate the line "He claims the title roll was rejected by…" There's an implication in the word 'claims' that implies it's unlikely to be true, or like I'd said, 'They've been turned down by Tom Cruise, James Stewart, John Wayne and Gertrude Stein.' I also didn't mention anything like that to the journalist, so I thought, shit, where did he get that from? because it wasn't like I wouldn't have said it. I found it on a Kindle message board, where I'd been having a general chat about Long Midnight with about three other people. I presume that's where he got it. That's the internet for you. Things just sit there, waiting to come and bite you on the arse.

One of the first team of chaps who took the option also (apparently) tried to get Robin Williams and Sean Connery, but I didn't mention that on the Kindle board so it never made it into the article. I expect someone somewhere also offered it to Nicole Kidman.

Anyway, that's you up-to-date. As you were.


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