HOLLYWOOD – The Beguiled director Sofia Coppola will remake the classic Sidney Lumet movie Network.
Hard-hitting media satire Network came out in 1976 and told the story of a suicidal news anchor who becomes a messianic prophet for television glued audiences. Paddy Chayefsky wrote the screenplay and Peter Finch won an Oscar for his performance as Howard Beale, the newscaster. Following the success of The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola announced that she would be remaking the movie.
We asked: Why?
Well, I think it is really relevant to the world today. We’ve just had an election where the problem became apparent that there is something very wrong in the way news is disseminated and consumed. And Lumet’s film was very much about that. The problem wasn’t simply the network and the corporations, it was also the audiences.
But the original film is almost perfect.
It’s okay, sure, but the issues it raises are so important I feel we need an updated version. We live in an era of clickbait articles touting fake news for gullible readers who shriek nonsense in the comments section. You see?
Our film will tell the story of Sally Beale, Howard’s daughter and her work for an Alex Jones style conspiracy theorist. When they hit the big time, she begins to suspect that there is a deeper conspiracy involving the Russians.
Internetwork comes out in 2019.
There were lots of reasons to admire that wonderful director Sidney Lumet. His party trick was to recite the whole of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner while juggling oranges. It went on a bit after the first few verses, and if he dropped one he’d insist on starting all over again, but I couldn’t hold that against him.
The only problem with Sidney was that he wasn’t very good with numbers. I found this out to my cost on the set of that marvelous picture Twelve Angry Men. We’d been filming fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, for nearly two months before we realized his mistake. We were sat around the table practicing our angry expressions when suddenly Lee J. Cobb burst into hysterical laughter. I thought Ed Begley had been doing that thing when he waggled his ears up and down, but it wasn’t that.
Lee had just counted up the number of jurors and there were thirteen of us!
Well! We just fell about! None of us could believe that we hadn’t spotted it earlier!
Poor Sidney was dreadfully embarrassed, but there was nothing he could do about it, we’d just have to start all over again.
The question was, who would be the one to go?
Henry Fonda was the star so he was in, Martin Balsam was giving Jack Klugman a lift to the studio each morning so he couldn’t go. As the only Englishman on set I felt it was up to me to do the decent thing and volunteer to be cut.
I was quite touched by the way the others stood and applauded my decision. We were more than friends on that picture, we were like family.
If truth be told I would’ve had to leave early that day anyway because I said I’d pick up Joey Bishop’s dry cleaning.
But that’s another story…
NEW YORK – Wes Anderson’s long gestated stage version of the Seventies classic Serpico will debut on Broadway this Fall. The 1973 Sidney Lumet film starred Al Pacino as the titular cop who stands up to the corruption of his colleagues.
Wes Anderson first wrote a draft of a stage version when preparing his breakthrough movie Rushmore in 1997. The lead character Max, played by Jason Schwartzman, produces a version of the film for his school play.
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