Monday, 6 April 2009

State Of Play

I was a huge fan of the Paul Abbott-scripted BBC miniseries State Of Play which, along with Channel's 4 Sex Traffic, helped usher David Yates into Hogwarts. And so I've been anxiously regarding the big screen remake which opens this month. Just because cramming six hours of excellent television into two hours was always going to be problematic. Having said that, if anyone was going to do the material justice it was going to be BAFTA and Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald, brother of producer Andrew and my editor on the original edition of Burton On Burton.

In yesterday's Observer, Macdonald told Amy Raphael that the film developed from Abbott's political thriller into a dramatic exposé of the declining state of print journalism.

"The original State of Play wasn't set in any recognisably real journalistic world. It's not what really interested Paul Abbott; in fact, he'll tell you proudly that he didn't even do any research with journalists, whereas we spent a lot of time getting advice from the Washington Post. I thought the crisis in newspapers was something to be explored; I love All the President's Men and, in fact, all films about journalism. I thought we could make the last film about newspapers before they die."

Here's Macdonald and Russell Crowe talking to The Times.

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