Robert Downey Jr beats George Clooney in Black Mirror film rights showdown
Alice Jones' Arts Diary
Robert Downey Jr has beaten George Clooney in a bidding war for the film rights to an episode of Channel 4’s Black Mirror.
Downey Jr will produce a sci-fi thriller based on The Entire History of You, the final instalment of the first series of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian drama which first screened in 2011.
Written by Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show; Fresh Meat; In the Loop), it imagines a future in which humans are implanted with a memory chip which records everything they do, see or hear. “I always thought this idea could be a film so when I did a deal to write my episode I asked to reserve the film rights”, Armstrong tells me. “A few people were interested... including in the UK, which was very tempting, but in the end I thought we’d done a great version here so [it would be] interesting to see what could be done in the US.”
The Hollywood version will be a “whole new story”, says Armstrong, who will write the screenplay. Downey Jr will produce with Team Downey, the company he runs with his wife, Susan and Warner Bros. In the original, a husband uses his chip to reveal evidence of his wife’s affair; in the new version, he will use it to relive his time with his dead wife, uncovering a major conspiracy in the process. “I developed it here with Charlie [Brooker] and producers Annabel [Jones] and Barney [Reisz] to fit the house style of the Black Mirror and because of budgetary restrictions it became a sort of chamber piece. This will be on a bigger scale.”
As yet, there is no news on casting or release date. “Although I am assured that all scripts that are developed do get made. Hollywood abhors waste”, quips Armstrong.
Also in the Arts Diary
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin