SCOTTISH crime writer Christopher Brookmyre has revealed that a big-screen adaptation of one of his best-known novels is in the pipeline, with Emma Thompson being lined up for the lead role.
The 54-year-old Oscar-winning actress is in talks with an unnamed French-based film producer to star in All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye, the writer announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
The book tells the story of Jane Fleming, a Lanarkshire grandmother suffering a mid-life crisis who is thrown into turmoil after her son finds himself caught up with international criminals.
Fleming, a former punk rocker in her teens, is thrust from dreary suburbia into a world of espionage, arms dealers and James Bond-style escapades. The book, which was critically acclaimed on its release eight years ago, will be the first Brookmyre novel to make it on to the big screen if production goes ahead.
The only other adaptation of his work came in 2004 when James Nesbitt stepped into the role of his best-known character, journalist Jack Parlabane, for an ITV adaptation of his debut Quite Ugly One Morning.
David Tennant and Billy Boyd have starred on audiobook recordings. Brookmyre himself is a former journalist at the The Scotsman, working as a regular sub-editor in the early 1990s.
Brookmyre, 44, originally from Barrhead in Renfrewshire, told his festival audience that two separate projects were “in development” – one a film version of All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Eye and a BBC adaptation of Where the Bodies are Buried, the first of a trilogy on the Glasgow private investigator Jasmine Sharp.
However, he hinted that the film was further down the line because of the project’s endorsement by Thompson, who shot to fame playing the role of Suzi Kettles in the Bafta-winning series Tutti Frutti, about the exploits of a Scottish rock band.
The London-born actress’s recent movies have included Nanny McPhee and Harry Potter films, as well as playing Queen Elinor in the Disney-Pixar adventure Brave.
Speaking at the festival on Monday night, Brookmyre said: “A Paris-based producer, who is English, has been working on this (All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Eye), for a long time, gradually getting there stage by stage.
“The big breakthrough is that the star that he wants, and that I want, has said she would like to do it, but she didn’t like the director that was attached to it, so they have to try to get another director interested in it.”
Brookmyre later told The Scotsman: “All I know at the moment is Emma Thompson is really interested in it. She likes it and wants to do it, but that’s where it’s at at the moment.”
Brookmyre, who was launching his latest Jasmine Sharp novel at the festival, was asked whether he had ever attempted to write any original screenplays. He has published 17 novels since his debut 17 years ago.
He added: “I often come up with high-concept stories, but I’ve not really thought about writing original screenplays.
“There have been various attempts to option my books and get them made, but the problem is they tend to be logistically difficult and very expensive.
“In Hollywood, they don’t mind spending a few hundred million on something really implausible and over-the-top but they tend not to want to set it in Scotland.”
Brookmyre also revealed that a video game version of his fantasy adventure Bedlam was in development.