Pen To Paper: Fairytales, high crime and the X-rated

Layer Cake helmer Matthew Vaughn is in final negotiations to produce and direct adult fairytale Stardust for Paramount Pictures. The project has already been adapted by Vaughn from Neil Gaiman’s 1997 novel Stardust: Being A Romance Within The Realms Of Faerie, which follows a young man who lives in an English country town where reality is mixed with a little magic (they called it scrumpy in our day). The young fella promises his loved one a fallen star but must take on a treacherous journey to retrieve it. Gaiman’s much-praised fantasy novel seems a complete departure for the talented Mr Vaughn, but certainly has our interest piqued…

A heroin-addicted thief who’s also a con man, a smuggler and a gunrunner? Nothing like a complex, multi-faceted character to bring Johnny Depp skipping from the French countryside shouting “Pick me! Pick me!” And pick him they did.

Shantaram will be written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Eric Roth, who took home a statuette for his village-idiot script for Forrest Gump. Based on the novel by Gregory David Roberts, the story traces the Australian author’s real-life exploits after he busted out of jail and went on the run in India… and that’s the boring part. Our anti-hero then takes on the guise of a doctor in Bombay, and eventually ends up fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. A sky-high Jack Sparrow beating up on the Russkies? Bring it on.

Elektra helmer Rob Bowman has thrown a well-aimed match on the petrol-fuelled X-Files 2 rumours. Bowman, who took Mulder and Scully on their first big-screen outing in 1998’s X-Files Movie, said of his chief co-collaborators David Duchovny and creator Chris Carter: “I know they want to do it. I spoke to David and he wanted to do it. Chris wanted to do it. I think they’re just working on timing.”

Remembering that it’s been a fair few years since the FBI outcasts first scoped out the spooky and uncovered the unmentionable, what about those people who never got to see Duchovny and co-star Gillian Anderson in action? “The only thing I know is it will be a stand-alone story. It won’t be tied into The X-Files mythology. So anybody who’s never seen The X-Files can step into the movie theatre and have the full experience, and really see the great chemistry between David and Gillian.” Reports stating that Duchovny didn’t appear interested in returning to play Mulder have been rubbished since we realised that Duchovny never looks interested in anything.