New version of Brighton Rock should be a blockbuster

If the trailer for the latest version of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock is anything go to by, the film could turn out to be the next blockbuster.

This sneak peek of the new adaptation of his murder thriller – which made a star of Richard Attenborough when it was originally filmed in 1947 – gives viewers a glimpse of what to expect from the film’s all-star cast.

Stepping into the role of young thug Pinkie Brown is actor Sam Riley, who sprang to fame playing Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in the film Control.

And his love interest Rose is played by Andrea Riseborough, who played the former Prime Minister in the TV movie Margaret Thatcher, The Long Walk To Finchley. She can be seen next month also in the drama Never Let Me Go.

The £8million movie is being backed by BBC Films and Optimum Films, a production company which controls the rights to the first Brighton Rock film.

Also starring in the film are John Hurt and Helen Mirren in the roles of Phil Corkery and Ida, played in the original film by George Carney and Hermione Baddeley.

And while the action still takes place in Brighton director Rowan Joffe, who has also adapted Greene’s novel for the screen, has updated the action to the Mods and Rockers era of 1964.

Joffe said last year before filming began that he did not think a modern audience would want to sit through a new film that was set in the Forties.

‘The mores and censorship at the time the first film was made meant the film-makers were not able to explore the violence in the book and we need to get away from that era to fully explore the truth of the story.

‘The book itself is explicitly sexual and Greene crossed boundaries and wasn’t afraid of exposing taboos,’ he added.

‘The essence is that Pinkie wants to kill a girl he fancies. He’s a teenager full of hormones and now I can show the truth of that.’

The film maker admitted that he did want to bring Brighton Rock right up to date and set it in contemporary times, since 1964 was the last year the death penalty was carried out, and that threat over Pinkie is an important plot point.

‘Pinkie believes Rose can finger him for murder so he marries her, he doesn’t want to hang,’ explained Joffe.

‘Pinkie is a psycho sexually abused kid who has become a cold-blooded killer. He’s a complex creation and we can bring him fully to life,’ Joffe said.

The film is due for release next month.

by Wallace McTavish

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