Ian McEwan

Seen any good books lately?

The liberties film-makers take with characters and plot when they adapt well-loved novels too often spoil the stories for fans of the originals, argues Arifa Akbar

Have you read any good films lately?

A version of Kazuo Ishiguro's Let Me Go will open the London Film Festival. Yet Salman Rushdie is ignored by directors, and Martin Amis struggles on screen. Geoffrey Macnab reports

Pandora: John Prescott fails to lord it on the campaign trail

Last week Pandora speculated as to the proximity of a Prescott peerage. Having been both deputy Labour leader and deputy PM, the veteran bruiser would be more than qualified for a spot on Gordon Brown's disollution honours list, despite his previously-stated opposition to the principle.

The Diary: Ian McEwan; Home from War; The Harder They Come; John

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.

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The Diary: Andrew Lloyd Webber; John Walker; Alice Channer; Ian

Andrew Lloyd Webber confessed that he has already sent the soundtrack of his latest musical, ‘Love Never Dies’ (sequel to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’) to two key figures – both of whom were involved in ‘Phantom’, and neither of whom have a part to play in the sequel: Cameron Mackinstosh, who worked with Lloyd Webber on the original, and Sarah Brightman (right), Lloyd Webber’s former wife and the first leading lady, Christine. Lloyd Webber said: “The two people in the world I most wanted to hear the soundtrack were Sarah Brightman and Cameron Macintosh.” After hearing the songs, Webber said that Cameron “wrote me one of the sweetest letters I have ever had”, while Sarah’s response was similarly supportive, and “funny”, he added. When quizzed about why Mackintosh was not producing the sequel, which takes place a decade after we last encountered the murderous phantom, now living on Coney Island, Lloyd Webber said: “Cameron has been incredibly supportive… but he has got his own life.” He said there would be no other sequels after this one. “I can’t say that the story could possibly continue.” The show opens on 9 March 2010 at the Adelphi Theatre, London