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The Ghost

I just found a very interesting and informative article on the IMDb message board. I'm reading the book now, and I really like it. Except for the fact that The Ghost and Adam Lang are meant to be around the same age, I think the casting of Ewan and Piece Brosnan is perfect. I also think Kim Cattrall will be perfect as Amelia Bly.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing this film, and it sounds as though it will be out sooner rather than later. So no huge, long wait like we've had for too many of Ewan's other films. Yay. :o)

The Sunday Times
December 14, 2008
Roman Polanski to sex up tale of ‘Tony Blair’s ghost’
Richard Brooks, Arts Editor

Politics is said to be showbiz for ugly people, but a sexual thriller is to portray “Tony Blair” and his Downing Street circle in a flattering light.

In the cinema adaptation of Robert Harris’s novel, The Ghost, the former prime minister – or a character suspiciously similar – will be played by Pierce Brosnan, star of four James Bond films.

The director will be the Oscar-winning Roman Polanski, while “Cherie” is to be played by Olivia Williams, who starred alongside Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense.

In a touch that may dismay the Blairs, however, the love interest is Kim Cattrall, the Sex and the City actress, who will give a vampish portrayal of a character not far off Anji Hunter, the former prime minister’s confidante and Downing Street “gatekeeper”.

Hunter’s alter ego in the novel has a far closer relationship, as she and the premier are entangled in an affair.

When The Ghost was published last year, it caused a furore and Harris repeatedly refused to confirm it was even based on the Blair circle. It was hard not to see the similarities, however, between Blair and Adam Lang, the book’s ex-premier, who is looking for a ghostwriter, played by Ewan McGregor, for his memoirs.

The overbearing Ruth, Lang’s wife, has strong echoes of Cherie, while Amelia Bly fills the role of Hunter. Harris now admits that the characters were drawn from Blair’s circle.

The film’s cast are more attractive than the real personalities are perceived to be, however.

“We didn’t want lookalikes, but we did want and we’ve now got very attractive and very good actors for the key roles,” said Harris, who has also written the script of the film, which begins shooting in February.

Polanski, whose Oscar-winning films include Chinatown and The Pianist, will be directing in studios in Berlin and on the island of Sylt, off northern Germany. The island will double as Martha’s Vineyard, the American establishment’s resort off the Massachusetts coast where much of the book is set.

The roster of names such as Polanski, Brosnan, Cattrall and McGregor shows Harris has stepped up a rung on the cinema ladder. His novel Fatherland was turned into a made-for-television film, while Enigma, another adaptation, starring Kate Winslet, Matthew Macfadyen and Dougray Scott, was moderately successful at the cinema.

Harris and Polanski, who lives in Paris, have been closeted together for the past four days in the French capital working on the final script. “It follows my book very closely,” said Harris.

The plot’s storyline delves into the murky pasts of the Langs and their close ties to America and ends with a twist.

It also depicts affairs between Adam Lang and Bly, and another between Ruth Lang and the Ghost.

In the past, it has been hinted, without evidence, that Blair had a fling with Hunter before he met Cherie. In the book and the film, Ruth Lang is clearly jealous of Bly.

“This is a psychological and sexual thriller,” said Harris. “It’s a four-person sexual drama. But it was not a bonkbuster book, and nor will it be a bonkbuster film.”

Brosnan was Polanski’s first choice to play Lang as he wanted a charismatic figure as the former premier. Williams, 40, also starred in this year’s BBC drama Miss Austen Regrets.

But perhaps the biggest surprise is the casting of Cattrall, who was born in Britain and only found fame in her forties as Samantha Jones in Sex and the City.

The film should be completed by next autumn with its release soon after. “I want to be sure it’s out before Tony Blair’s own memoirs are published,” said Harris.

In October 2007, four months after he left office, Blair finalised a £4.6m deal with Random House, the publisher, for his memoirs. The firm will not say how much has been written or give a date for publication.

Will Blair, like Adam Lang, have someone else to do the writing? “There will absolutely not be a ghost,” said a senior executive at Random House. “He is writing himself.”

It does sound really good. Not to much mention of what Ewan's character will be up to besides being the ghost writter.
I am getting the book, so I will be able to read it.

Anika----Did you find by reading the book that is ruined wanting to see the film?

I have read books that Ewan's films are based on before I see them and after I have seen them.
What do you think about reading this one before hand?

Thanks for the article!!!
Did you find by reading the book that is ruined wanting to see the film?
Just the opposite - I can't wait to see the movie now, and especially Ewan in the role. I think he'll be great. I liked reading the book and picturing him as the character. I know his expressions so well that I could even picture what his face might look like in certain situations. You'll be interested to know that the story is told from the perspective of the ghostwriter, which means he's pretty much in every scene. Awesome, isn't it?? :o)

I'm not sure whether I'd advise you to read it before or after. I'd feel terrible if the story was ruined for you because you took my advice to read it first. I always like to read the books first, but that's just me. My husband likes to do it the other way around. He has a really, really good memory and if they leave something out/change something he gets upset. Sometimes I get bothered by that too, but usually I just expect it to happen. After all, they sometimes have an awful lot to squeeze into 2 hours.
If possible, I really love to read the book before hand.
Some of the books I have read of Ewan's films were after, because I saw the film before I knew there was a book.

I read Angels & Demons and Incendiary. I know they have changed Incendiary, but of course I still want to see the film. I just don't want to know how the film is until I see it. And A&D will probably be different too, as it would be hard to get it all in the film....

I read The Men Who Stare at Goats, and am glad I did as it was hard to understand, but it was soooooooooooo boring.
I hope they spice the film up. His character should be in the film a lot too. Unless they change it to give Clooney a bigger part.

I should be getting The Ghost in a week or so, and I am looking forward to reading it....I am glad that Ewan's character will be the voice of the story... Hopefully he will have a hugh amount of screen time!!!

I read Young Adam too. I got the original book [1954] and it had a very good last chapter that was not in the film. It should have been included, as it really tied up the character of Joe.. Nasty Joe....
I read all of those books too. In fact, we've talked about this before. You were the one who told me about the original Young Adam. I think they should have had that last chapter in the film too. Eye of the Beholder is a really good book too. I can't remember whether you said you'd read that one or not.

I liked The Men Who Stare at Goats. It's pretty frightening that the US government has done some of the things it's done. That bit of the book isn't remotely amusing. But some of the things these people think they can do just boggles the mind, and the government funds it. Jeez, the guy who thought he could walk through the wall if he just concentrated hard enough. Unbelievable! I'm sure the film will be a satire, because the ideas these guys had/have just sound completely ludicrous to sensible people.
Yes---I did read Eye of the Beholder...It's funny because the "eye" was older then Ewan and was more of a detective, if I remember right. And it took place over a 10 year period.
Did you read it?
I read that Ewan was crushed when he was made to wear that awful red jacket that the crazy director wanted in the film.. Really made him not stand out...NOT!!!

I have Killing Priscilla" the making of Eye of the Beholder, and the director was really a nut case. But he sure loved Ewan. He thought of him as a "god", and wished they could be friends.
He had a hard time with money and keeping the film together and I guess Ewan was tired of it by the end.
I really love the film, though!
Did you see that film?
Oh there was the one deleted scene of Ewan and the poor little girl underwater in a car...She was such a trooper...

I wonder just how true things are that are in the book, Men Who Stare at Goats...Some of it seems far fetched, but then you never know. I didn't find it amusing either.
It sounds like the film is going to be a sort of comedy??????
I did read EOTB. I liked it a lot. I thought Ewan's portrayal of The Eye was spot on, his mannerisms and such, exactly as he was described in the book.

That red jacket certainly wouldn't have made him blend into the background, to say the least. It looked great on him, though. A very nice color for him. God, he's so amazingly handsome in that film. I have two copies of it, the US version and the Canadian. The Canadian version has an alternate ending which, in my opinion, is FAR superior to the US version. Did you see it?

Did you say Killing Priscilla is a video?

All of the things in MWSAG are true, that's why it's so unnerving. It's not a novel, it's true. I cracked up over some of the foolishness with the guys sitting around in a room and trying to be psychic, or that general (I think he was a general) who thought he could walk through the wall if he only concentrated hard enough, then hit his nose and bounced back off. It's unreal. Yes, I think it will be a satirical comedy. I'm sure they'll be skewering the government.
I loved Ewan in The EYE.
I have two copies of it too. I bought them both in the US. The one with the alternate ending was made in Canada.
I liked the alternate ending, although if it was over a 10 year period, the daughter would have been grown up. But the film didn't really indicate a 10 year period, so it could have been used.

There was also a dream sequence in the snow globe, where the Eye sees his daughter and then goes to the "end of the world, and there was also a the deleted scene with Ewan and the girl under water in a car. I don't know how that fits into the story, and they didn't use it.
Or were these in the Killing Priscilla.
I am getting mixed up.. I just watched Killing Priscilla and I think I saw them there.

I often wonder why they cut some scenes out when they are usually only a minute or two long..
I really think it was a very good film.

Killing Priscilla ---- I don't know if it was on video or just the TV. A friend sent me a copy of it. So it may have been on TV only.
The quality is not very good, but is so much better then not having it at all~!! I love watching Ewan in it.

It was the voice of, I think the director Stephen Elliot's assistent, and she goes around interviewing the director and Ewan and some others and records meetings with the money ment etc.
It shows some scenes of Elliot getting Ewan and Ashley drunk when they are talking in the resuarant/bar.[my favorite scene] They were both getting drunker and drunker.
Another part was Elliot got Ashley totally wasted when she is in a bar asking for a drink. It was a terrible scene and of course it wasn't in the film..She was falling down drunk and nasty.

I read that Ashely didn't even want to talk to Ewan throughout the shoot, and Ewan is the type of guy that is very friendly. That didin't go over to well with him.
Oh----They showed a scene where they were both outside peeing.
I think there was a lot of drinking going on. Ewan's pre non drinking and smoking days!!!

It was a great documentary....

TMWSAG----I guess it is a true story, but I am sure they will hype it up for the film. I really don't like political films, but with Ewan being in it, I will go to see it. The ONLY reason~!!
I am not a fan of Clooney, though.
I really don't want to know actors political feelings..And you are right. The film will be skewering the government.
if it was over a 10 year period, the daughter would have been grown up
That reminds me . . . I watched the rest of Scarlet & Black last night. At the end Julien is 22, at the beginning he was nearly 19, and yet at the end Madame de Renal's children hadn't aged a day. LOL

Thanks for all the info about the documentary. Maybe someday I'll be able to see it. I have to wonder: Has this director never heard of simply having an actor act like they're drunk? I see no reason to actually get Ashley three sheets to the wind for a scene, for heaven's sake.

I read not long ago that her husband, who's a Scottish race car driver, is a friend of Ewan's. I almost think he used to race motorcycles, if I remember correctly. I should think you'd have to have nerves of steel to be married to someone in any kind of racing profession. I think I'd have to be sedated!

I love George Clooney! I've been a big fan of his since ER. I'm really excited to see Ewan in a movie with him.

Edited at 2009-02-19 05:10 am (UTC)
I am watching S&B too. [again] I am doing it slowly in between everything else I am doing.
That is a great observation of the children not ageing in 4 years.
A good Blooper....

EOTB---I think the director was being a method director. I have no idea why he would do that. Actors can be drunk looking and sounding by acting, like you said.
He was a bit wacko...
Ewan and Stephen met in a bar and Ewan liked the script, and liked Stephen. But by the end of the film, Ewan went back to London.
Stephen had to go there for some retakes.
The director said something about Ewan being fed up, but that he hoped they would reamin frineds. In the closing credits, it was written that they were freids.

Ashley's hubsand is a Scottish race car driver, and a friend of Ewan's?---If he was connected to mototcycles then he may well have been a friend of Ewan's. Motorcycles and Ewan ---Probably has lots of friends that love motorcycles...
Very dangerous occupation, being a race car drive.
I would imagine Ashley worries about that and Eve worries about Ewan on his motorcycle, expecially on his trips. Very hard on the wives..

I really haven't seen Clooney films, but I would imagine he is a good actor. I am just not a fan.
I never watched ER, except I have the episode with Ewan, but I dont think Clooney was in it.

I think they will work well together in the film...
Ashley's hubsand is a Scottish race car driver, and a friend of Ewan's?
A race car driver, yeah. This is him: http://www.franchitti.com/driver_profile.cfm He's handsome; wow. I read somewhere that he was friends with Ewan, but I didn't read it here. I don't see anything about racing motorcycles, but it does say they're a hobby of his.

Yes, George is in that episode of ER Ewan is in - he's the doctor in the ER trying to save him.
Clooney was there? That shows you I only had eyes for Ewan!!!!!

I didn't see a picture of Ashleys hubsand unless it was the tiny one at the top. Kind of hard to see what he looks like, but thanks for the link.

The pictures change above the driver's profile, but you can click on the thumbnails across the top. He's here too http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1040029/, although the photos are rather small. He's not actually technically Scottish, is he? But he did grow up there, so I was right about that.

George was there! LOL Your assignment is to watch the show again and tell me I'm right. Hee!
The man is very nice looking.

But you know what????----there are lots of good looking men throughout the world, but there is something extra special about Ewan that goes beyond good looking.
I think he is a gorgeous man, and his personality and accent and just the way he is in life, is so damn appealing.
That laugh and twinkle in his beautiul eyes, his way with people, his caring nature with children, his love of family, his wonderful acting and singing ability, and I could go on and on, but I am sure you know what I mean.
I think I like Ewan very much~!!!!---LOL

I am sure you are right about Clooney being in ER, but I will accept your assignment and watch ER again!!!!

Thanks for the link to Ashley's hubsand....I mean a link to a picture of him!!!! LOL

I think all of the same things about our glorious Ewan, but then you know that. I completely and utterly adore him. I'd just like to scoop him up and squeeze him, and keep him safe from harm.

I am sure you are right about Clooney being in ER
Yes...but you won't truly believe it until you see him with your own eyes. Go on, admit it. You know you won't. LOL
Yes---I know you feel the same about Ewan. So many of us do!!!

Clooney= ER---I watched the end of ER last night and of course he was there!!!!. A much younger Clooney...It was 12 years ago.
And such a young Ewan too.
I remember reading and hearing Ewan say that after he did ER, he had to hurry home because Clara was deathly ill in the hospital.
He had some problems at one of the airports, but he got home.
It was a horrible time for Ewan and Eve and of course Clara.
Of course it would be for anyone with a sick child.

That was a sad film for Ewan. I hated the ending.
I hate when Ewan's films end that way....

So---now I know for sure Clooney was in it, but then I knew you were right in the first place!!!!
he had to hurry home because Clara was deathly ill in the hospital.
He must have been terrified, especially being so far from home at the time. I'm glad it turned out the way it did, because it so easily could have gone the other way. Meningitis is really scary.

Here's a video where he and Denis Lawson talk a bit about it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5XkvDlJN9U. Of course, the beginning is priceless! LOL I'm sure you've seen it before, but it's always fun to watch again. I wonder if Alice Krige ever saw that interview??
Yes--- I have seen it before and I love the interview. That poor girl.
That's why, when refering the word "hard" I usually change it to "difficult"!!!
Ewan cracks me up!!!

I love that he can talk so freely abut such matters and doesn't mind doing them to this day!!
Although I thought the scenes with Alice were the most realistic that he has ever done. Young Adam was great too, in a differnet way.

It was a really good interview, and he tells about his distain for the pap. reguarding his children..
I'm sure he knows that one of these days, the girls will be grown up and he will not have much say about it anymore.
But until then, he has done a pretty good job of keeping them out of the press.

I loved that first scene with Alice. He talked about it on another program, but didn't mention her name.
I loved all the scenes with Ewan and Alice. I love the older woman with the young man!!!!!

I read a good article about them filming Scarlet & Black.
I think she was around 39 and Ewan was 22 at the time.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm I could be the older woman!!!! hee hee

Thanks for the link to the video. I tried saving it once beore to my favorites, but it wouldn't save, so I just sent it to myself to save!!!!

He's such a scamp that naturally his mind would go straight to the gutter when she said "hard"! Mine would too. :o)

I adore him with Alice Krige. They have such great chemistry, and I just like her character worlds better than Mathilde, who is a brat who can't make up her mind, then can't keep it made up. Don't get me wrong, I like her, she's just so frustrating I want to slap her. I like Julien with the older woman too. By the way, I looked her up and Alice was born in 1954.

I could be the older woman too, and I'd be more than willing. :o)

You're welcome for the link. Glad I was able to help.
Ewan does seem to have that one "part" on him mind at any given time...
I just finished watching S&B...God, he was such a gorgous young man that has turned into a Gorgeous handsome mature older man. Not that almost 38 is that old...
He just keeps getting better and better.

1954 would have make Alice 38 at the time of the film.
And Ewan was 22...That's only 16 years difference..

Great film..
It always amuses me when she asks her friend if she's too old for him. I always think to myself, no, you're too married. LOL

You're right - he is getting better and better. I'm completely blown away by those pictures from last weekend in Rome, and the ones from Sundance. He's amazing!
LOL---That was an odd question. I wonder if in those days, it may have been somewhat acceptable to have a lover, if they were discreet... The man and wife had seperate bedrooms!!!!

Yes the sundance pictures are just gorgeous!!!!
And the Angels & Demons pictures are too...