Skip to main content

Now War Horse Creator gallops to more glory

Beloved children’s author Michael Morpurgo is turning into a one-man Hollywood hit factory.
With Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Morpurgo’s War Horse due out here in January, another of his titles is galloping onto the big screen.
Up-and-coming actors Jack O’Connell and George MacKay will play the leads in the film version of Morpurgo’s 1982 novel Private Peaceful about two farm-labouring brothers, Charlie and Tommo Peaceful, who leave Devon to enlist to fight in World War I. One of them is court martialled for cowardice.
‘It highlights the iniquity of us shooting our own men during the war,’ said Guy de Beaujeu, who is producing the film with Simon Reade, the writer of the film’s screenplay.
 George Mackay
 Jack O'Connell
Star pair: Up-and-coming actors Jack O’Connell and George MacKay will play the leads in the film version of Morpurgo’s 1982 novel Private Peaceful
In fact, Private Peaceful has already played an important role in prompting discussions in Parliament about granting group pardons for the 306 British soldiers executed for offences such as cowardice and desertion during the Great War.
De Beaujeu observed that, some years ago, a senior Ministry of Defence official saw a stage production of Private Peaceful and was so moved he ‘saw the light’.
He persuaded his superiors to debate the issue further in the House of Commons and the result was the issuing of posthumous pardons. Many of the dead have since had their names recognised on World War I memorials.
Rising star: Alexandra Roach, who played a young Margaret Thatcher, also stars
Rising star: Alexandra Roach, who played a young Margaret Thatcher, also stars
Director Pat O’Connor has assembled an admirable cast. Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour (working together on a non-Alan Bennett project for once) will play a bumbling colonel, who runs the local village, and a grocery store owner respectively.
Alexandra Roach, who stars as the young Margaret Thatcher in the much anticipated The Iron Lady, plays Molly, the young woman both Peaceful brothers fancy.
But it is O’Connell and MacKay who will carry most of the movie once it moves from Devon to the trenches.
O’Connell portrayed the young Bobby Charlton in the BBC TV drama United and started his career in This Is England.
He was meant to be filming thriller uwantme2killhim? But that has been delayed for financial reasons, meaning he was available to do Private Peaceful.
MacKay played Clive Owen’s elder son in The Boys Are Back and also has a role in the BBC-Working Title TV version of Birdsong, based on Sebastian Faulks’s novel. Producer De Beaujeu said the movie would film in and around Suffolk with a crack crew that includes the award-winning cameraman Jerzy Zielinski and designer Adrian Smith. Mark Knopfler will compose the score.
Hero Fiennes-Tiffin and Samuel Bottomley will play Charlie and Tommo as children.
Morpurgo fans will be interested to hear that Radio 4 will broadcast a version of Private Peaceful on Christmas Day; listen out for the author, who has a cameo voicing the vicar.
Meanwhile, the stage version of War Horse continues playing in London and on Broadway.
And Spielberg’s film is sure to be a major contender for Baftas and Oscars.


Popular posts from this blog

Star Wars VII Movie Poster - Every End Is A New Beginning

Just saw this Star Wars VII movie poster on Kyle Newman's Facebook feed.  The poster is by Lyndon Berresford and Paul Bateman. 
I am loving this.  Who do you think the two characters are?  Lando and Leia?  Han and Leia's children?

Have you seen other Star Wars VII movie posters?  Let me know.

Rob Wainfur

I need your Star Wars memories for a book

Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth?

I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack.

Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with and settled 'flygate:'

This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of the Ark scene.…

Pinewood Studios To Expand To The Usa

BBC News have reported that Pinewood Studios are to expand to the USA.  This is great news for the famous studio that is rich in movie history.

UK film studio Pinewood Shepperton has announced plans to build its first sound stages in the United States. The Pinewood Atlanta complex will be built on 288 acres of land south of Atlanta, Georgia, as a joint venture with a US investment company. Georgia has been among the US states drawing film-making away from Hollywood with tax incentives in recent years. The deal is the latest sign of expansion at Pinewood, the home of the James Bond franchise. Earlier this month it announced a joint venture with a Chinese media group, potentially giving it access to the fast-growing Chinese market.
Read the full article here.