Source: IF Magazine. Less than 2 weeks after the coronation of King Charles III, Australian producers Morgan Smallbone and Donna Andrews have announced they are working with a global team, including heavyweights Keith Chapman and Mike Medavoy, to bring the story of his predecessors to the screen.
Written by Smallbone and Pascal Mercay, The Thorn in the Crown centres on John Cooke, a humble lawyer, and prototype of the modern-day human rights campaigner, who in 1649 London accepted the unprecedented and perilous brief to prosecute King Charles I for treason.
Although the Restoration of the monarchy was achieved in 1660, Cooke had planted the seeds of change, and in 1689 absolute monarchy was replaced by a constitutional monarchy that devolved its powers back to Parliament, and the people, and remains in place to this day.
Smallbone and Andrews will produce via Quick Sticks Pictures and Sticky Pictures, respectively, working alongside UK producer Pete Coogan, the Monaco-based Chapman of Keith Chapman Productions, and Medavoy, Phoenix Films chairman and CEO.
The cast and director for the project are yet to be confirmed.
Smallbone, who has been working on the project for the past five years, said he looked forward to introducing the “heroic and long-forgotten” Cooke to audiences.
“Donna, Pete, and I are thrilled to partner with such industry heavyweights as Keith Chapman and Mike Medavoy,” he said.
“I have long been fascinated by this blood-soaked period of history and have waited patiently for the opportunity to bring this real-life Game of Thrones to the screen. A story of King Charles I & II in the age of Charles III is that opportunity.”
Medavoy, who has been involved with over 300 feature films and is a former chairman of TriStar Pictures, boarded the project last year after being shown the script by Chapman, the creator of Bob the Builder with whom he collaborated on the upcoming family animated feature Ozi Voice Of The Forest.
He described the film as a “worthy successor” to Fred Zinnemann’s 1966 historical drama A Man For All Seasons, and particularly timely as another Charles ascends to the throne.
“Having now worked on 325 movies, I sometimes think about ‘the one that got away’, an inspiring film I would have loved to be a part of – Fred Zinneman’s masterpiece, A Man For All Seasons, is such a movie,” he said.
“Dealing with a commoner who risks all to take on a tyrant king, The Thorn in the Crown, covers similar ground.
“At its heart though, this is an emotional story of an unsung hero, John Cooke, his family and perennial questions regarding monarchy itself.”