Rope of Silicone has ferreted out a poster for Rowan Joffe’s remake of Brighton Rock. The film is due to be released later this year, date to be determined. The poster (above left) shows Sam Riley (Control) in character as the psychopathic Pinky. The film will also star Oscar goddess Helen Mirren, Andrea Riseborough and Pete Postlethwaite.
The film is based on Graham Greene’s 1938 novel of the same name. It was first adapted for the screen in 1947, under the direction of John Boulting, with a screenplay by Greene himself and Terence Rattigan. The new filmic version is to be based on the novel, rather than the previous screenplay, with one major difference: the action will take place in the 1960s instead of the novel’s '30s setting.
To fans of the novel, that change may make a lot of sense. The raucous seaside atmosphere conjured up by Greene is actually very modern, and retaining the original setting would have this film filed firmly under ‘period’ thriller with all the limits and expectations that such a category would imply. But a jump forward to the sixties allows for a believable setting for the gang-based action (any closer to us and we might find it hard to image the laid-back, gay-friendly Brighton of today as a hotbed of gang violence) and maximizes its appeal.
Greene’s novel opens on a bustling Bank Holiday in Brighton. Newspaper man Fred Hale is in town, his job to be seen in character as ‘Kolley Kibber’, as part of a reader promotion where anyone who spots him wins a prize. But Fred previous angered the leader of a local gang and desperately does not want to be seen. He is eventually discovered and murdered by Pinkie, a sociopathic teen who’s become the new head of the gang, but not before he has time to confess his terror to a kindly and intelligent older woman, Ida Arnold. Pinkie tries to cover his tracks but is put under increasing pressure which leads to him undertaking ever more ruthless acts, as well as protecting his alibi by proposing marriage to a naïve young waitress, Rose, who he loathes. Ida has grown suspicious of the young thug and determined to protect Rose, so begins investigating Pinkie herself.
In the 1947 film, Richard Attenborough played Pinkie, Carol Marsh played Rose and Hermione Baddeley was Ida Arnold. The 2010 version will see Sam Riley as Pinky and Helen Mirren as Arnold. Andrea Riseborough (Happy-Go-Lucky, Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley) is playing the role of Rose, although some film sites still have Carey Mulligan’s name attached to the project (we think Riseborough joined the cast when Mulligan pulled out to star in Money Never Sleeps).
Rowan Joffe, who previously wrote the screenplay for 28 Weeks Later, adapted the novel as well as directed the film, after winning a BAFTA for his directorial work on TV’s The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall.
Here’s Rope of Silicon’s promo.