Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hopefully in 3D-Murdoch The Movie

A film script on the life of Rupert Murdoch is being hawked around Hollywood.

This news comes courtesy of Franklin Leonard's annual Black List. Leonard is regarded as 'Hollywood's most important soothsayer" according to the LA Times with his list each year of unmade film projects. 

He compiles the list by talking to LA's most influential agents and studio bosses and any script that gets 5 mentions is included  with the added bonus it generates so much industry chat that the inclusion is regarded as a lifeline for ailing screenplays.

'Murdoch' was commissioned by the UK's Channel 4 and written by respected TV script writer Jesse Armstrong but 4 decided against making it. It's now being handled by a top agency Creative Artist's Agency who are looking for a producer and backer.

The script blurb reads : "As his family gathers for his birthday party, Rupert Murdoch tries to convince his elder children to alter the family trust so that his two youngest children by his newest wife will have voting rights in the company."

Ouch ! A little close to home. 
When Rupert divorced his second wife Anna Murdoch Mann , the mother of children Lachlan, James and Elisabeth, Anna went in tough with heavy New York lawyers and  secured a very profitable trust which she controls that holds huge swathes of News Corp shares in her children's names although  she was forced off the News board in the process. 

And she had rather unkind words to say about Rupert in a 2001 interview where she described him as "hard, ruthless and determined".

No-one quite knows what size of inheritance Wendi Murdoch's 2 daughters Chloe and Grace may be in for. With  News Corp  headquartered in Delaware with it's secretive corporate laws, the outside world doesn't really know quite what the media empire or Murdoch is worth although it will be in the billions of dollars.

 Long before Wendi appeared on the scene Murdoch also made a famous faux pas in 1997 when he referred to "my 3 children " while talking about succession in a press conference that drew the ire of his daughter Prudence Murdoch MacLeod, his first child from marriage to Patricia Booker. Never shy, Prudence got a public apology out of her father.

So it's all there-plenty of meat for Murdoch the film !

Rupert ?
Who would play the roles in this gripping drama where the clan get-together to discuss high finance?.
As the media baron Rupert Murdoch  step forward Barry Humphries who played Rupert in the 1983 film Selling Hitler: The Story of the Hitler Diaries. Humphries has aged nicely with the same crumpled look as Rupert.

Matt Damon is a cinch for the role of the American accented Lachlan Murdoch and surely  Sarah Murdoch with thespian ambitions could play herself. New actor Leighton Meester could do a good Elisabeth Murdoch. Hayden Christensen with specs could play James Murdoch.

That leaves roles for the two who are bound to play  a leading part in the carve-up of Murdoch's billions-Wendi Murdoch and Mathew Freud. Answers on a postcard please.

# you can download Leonard's Black List here and see other scripts 'Murdoch' is competing with. The Shuttle's favourite : Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter. The future president's mother is killed by a vampire and Abe spends the rest of his life hunting down the killers !