The first rule of Big Game is that you don’t talk about Big Game.
The second rule of Big Game is that you DON’T TALK about Big Game . . .
Until now, that is.
I’ve been keeping this to myself for so long that it feels like I might’ve split a seam somewhere – but now I’m finally allowed to talk about BIG GAME.
Some time ago, the brilliant Barry Cunningham from Chicken House Publishing sent me a script for a film called Big Game, directed by Jalmari Helander and produced by Altitude. He told me that the film was in production and that he was so impressed by the story/script that he was in discussion with the producer with a view to adapting the screenplay into a novel. Not a ‘novelisation’, mind you, but a book that would be able to stand up in its own right. Oh yeah, and he thought it seemed like my kind of story.
Would I be interested? he asked.
Well, I knew I was interested right away. The film is set in the wilderness of Finland, and is about a young boy, Oskari, who is undergoing a traditional rite of passage which will take him from boyhood to manhood. His task is to enter the wilderness alone, and the following day he must emerge with his trophy – whatever the forest offers up to him. During the night, terrorists shoot down Air Force One, and the US President’s escape pod lands in the forest, leaving him in Oskari’s hands as they race against time, evading the terrorists who are hunting them.
Well, just before Christmas I was finally given the nod to start writing the book which will be published this autumn, ahead of the film which is in post-production now and will hopefully be released in spring 2015.
It’s a great story with some fantastic characters, and the film will have the exciting feel of a Spielberg/Amblin action adventure for younger viewers, so the book will have that feel to it, too. There are no magical powers, no prophecy to fulfil, just an ordinary boy doing his best to cope with extraordinary circumstances – and the books is shaping up really well.
I was in London yesterday to meet the producer, Will Clarke, and see a private screening of a teaser trailer which looks awesome – big scenery, big action and . . . oh the cast? You want to know who’s in the film?
Well, who better to play the US President than Samuel L Jackson?
Backed up by Jim Broadbent, Ray Stevenson and Felicity Huffman, it’s going to be something special . . .