The Diary: Ian McEwan; Home from War; The Harder They Come; John Simpson; Laurence Olivier Awards

More than just a fly-by-night project

The Booker Prize-winning novelist and sometime screenwriter, Ian McEwan, tells me he spent six months meticulously researching and writing a sequel to David Cronenberg film, 'The Fly', in 1995, which he considered his "best screenplay". 'Flies', (not to be mistaken with 1989's 'The Fly II') was to star Geena Davis, who featured opposite Jeff Goldblum in 'The Fly', and who owned the "fly concept" along with 20th Century Fox. McEwan says: "Our movie was going to begin with Geena Davis giving birth to twin boys, and it was written in a realistic mode. She fears her children will be deformed but she gives birth to two perfectly healthy babies. As they become teenagers, they become stranger and stranger, as teenagers do, and quite hyperactive. She has always worried that they inherited the (fly) gene. They become more manic, and one first becomes more fly like, then the other follows....It was my best screenplay... I really wanted this to have no foundation in anything other than genetics." There was a disagreement, leading the project to halt, he added. "I would like to see it made," he said.

Soldier's story

The author, Marnie Summerfield Smith, who co-authored the book, 'Home from War', with war veteran, Martyn Compton and his wife, Michelle, was so inspired by Mr Compton's story of survival in Afghanistan – he was a former lance-corporal in the Household Cavalry when he was so badly burned in a 2006 Taliban ambush in that he "died" twice – she is now working on another book about an injured soldier. "What I love about these stories are the relationships between the soldiers, which are deeply touching."

Cliff's still tops

It was the 1972 movie that took reggae to the wider world. Now, 'The Harder They Come' has since had a West End run and is now to embark on a UK tour from May to July. The stage play is an adaptation of the film starring Jimmy Cliff featuring classic songs such as "You Can Get It If You Really Want", and "Rivers of Babylon". It is, apparently, the first genuine black Caribbean musical to be staged in the UK. Catch it if you can, at the Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Lowry in Salford, among others.

Cartoons aren't always child's play

When John Simpson, the BBC's world affairs editor, is not travelling incognito, or taking intrepid trips to war zones with his BBC crew, or writing books, he's at home in central London with his four-year-old boy, sampling children's television, not always a pleasant experience given the state of some of the show's he's seen. "I now, at the age of 65, have my favourites. I quite like 'Bob the Builder', and I'm changing my view on a dozen or so of ghastly shows." There is 'SpongeBob SquarePants', an American cartoon character with whom he is now all too familiar. "Sometimes, you can feel the brain damage coming on, but he loves it," chuckles Simpson. He is surely not the first dynamic older dad who has been cornered into watching endless repeats of 'The Muppet Show'. Perhaps John Humphrys feels Simpson's pain.

Why there won't be a surprise winner

The Laurence Olivier Awards take place on Sunday and I hope that the ENO's 'Peter Grimes' wins in the best new opera production category. But I wonder whether there should be too much shouting about this strange category. Winners of the Oliviers have to be West End productions and there are only two dedicated opera houses in the West End, the Royal Opera House and the ENO at the Coliseum. Surprise, surprise, each year one of them wins an award to put on their marketing literature. Well done to the winner, and let's not broadcast the fact that there's a 50 per cent chance of a prize.

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Arts and Entertainment
Bono throws water at the crowd while the Edge watches as they perform in the band's first concert of their new world tour in Vancouver

MusicThey're running their own restaurants

The main entrance to the BBC headquarters in London
TV & Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
    I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

    I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

    Latest on the Labour leadership contest
    Froome seals second Tour de France victory

    Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

    Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
    Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

    The uses of sarcasm

    'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
    A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

    No vanity, but lots of flair

    A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
    Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

    In praise of foraging

    How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food