Armitage nepotist

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[At left: mini-surveillance drone prototype]

[A couple of especially intrepid fans of Richard Armitage recently revealed that they have been able to use very small mini-surveillance drones that look like locusts, a technology lifted from the CIA, to eavesdrop in the office of Armitage’s agent in Los Angeles. Here, a transcript of some things they heard.]

***

Thursday, February 28, 2013, late afternoon.

[Sound of door opening and closing. Sound of hand slapping against shoulder.]

Voice 1: Hello, Richard! Delightful to see you again!

Voice 2: Brilliant to see you, too!

Voice 1: Are you all done with the Black Sky pickups now?

Voice 2: Yep. Taking a day to enjoy all the sun in LA. Just wanted to make sure we compared notes on my Richard III plans’ status before I went back to New York and then to UK next week for the Hobbit DVD promotional stuff.

Voice 1: Yes. Make sure you have the travel itineraries for that trip before you leave today.

Voice 2: I will. But you know, the fans will have that information up on the website soon anyway, just in case I need to see it.

[both voices laugh]

Voice 2: So, I’m assuming that we’re ready to get going with the announcement about my Richard III plans, then.

Voice 1: Well, Richard. [sound of clearing throat.]

Voice 2: What is it?

Voice 1: Can I get you something to drink? Some Evian? Or, wait, I think my PA has some Tasmanian Rain… Let me call her.

Voice 2: [interrupts] What is it?

Voice 1: It’s about your Richard III plans …

Voice 2: Is there a hold-up?

Voice 1: Erm, yes. In a manner of speaking.

Voice 2: I thought we were all set to go with the financing now and I’d be able to announce something on BBC Radio Leicester when I am finally interviewed there in a few weeks. To make up for missing the call before.

Voice 1: Well, the financer has expressed some reservations that we need to address.

Voice 2: What reservations?

Voice 1: If you’re really serious about pursuing this project, it would be prudent if you could just stay over tomorrow for another meeting and reassure the financer.

Voice 2: Okay… [trails off] I’ll ring the airline.

***

Friday, March 1, mid-morning.

[Sound of door opening and closing, steps to a table, chairs being pulled out, and a number of people sitting down. Sounds of greetings and handshaking, etc.]

Voice 1: So, Richard, our financer here wanted to talk to you a little about about the plans for the Richard III biopic.

Voice 2: Yes. I’m very eager to proceed with that as soon as possible.

Voice 3: We’re totally excited, too, Rich, totally excited. Let me tell you. We think this is going to be like a combination of 300 meets Braveheart with a little twist of Die Hard in it plus costumes from The Princess Bride.

Voice 2: I don’t quite get the Die Hard reference.

Voice 1: We’re going to try to get Alan Rickman to play Buckingham.

Voice 2: Oh! Brilliant!

Voice 3: Plus we’re going to make a little dialogue modification. You know, like how North & South used a modern idiom because no one would have understood what Higgins was saying otherwise.

Voice 2: Oh, right.

Voice 1: Yes, this film is set before the big vowel shift.

Voice 3: I don’t know nothing about bowels, and we’re trying for a slightly higher tone than toilet humor, but yeah, we’ll give Richard III a recurring line — whatever the medieval equivalent of “Yippie-kye-yay, motherf*cker” is. We’ll hit every possible demographic with it! Audiences are going to love you in it!

Voice 2: [brief silence.] Great! [in a slightly bewildered tone] So was that what you wanted to talk about? Rickman? I’ve never worked with him but I deeply admire his work. Or the phrase? I’d have to ask a historian. Or what did you want to talk about?

Voice 1: Well, there’s just one little problem that our financer here is worried about.

Voice 2: What’s that? Tell me how I can reassure you.

Voice 3: Well, Rich, we’ve been looking at marketing surveys and data about your fan audiences and we’ve run into a little hitch with the script.

Voice 2: I think it’s a great script. It’s written by Philippa Langley, who’s just had this marvelous success with finding Richard III’s mortal remains. Surely that’s a selling point, all the publicity.

Voice 3: Yeah, Rich, the vibe and the script, it’s all good, but we’d like to see some changes.

Voice 2: Okay … [brief pause] Well, Philippa is very cooperative. I’m sure she’d be open to suggestions.

Voice 1: [coughs nervously] Yes, the success of the project is important to her.

Voice 2: What did you have in mind, then?

Voice 3: Well, like I said, Rich, it’s a great script and our test audiences are responding really well, but you did notice that Richard III actually kills his nephews in this story, didn’t you?

Voice 2: Well, the script leaves that open, actually.

Voice 3: Right, leaves it open, but there’s a real chance that it wasn’t this guy, what’s his name [sound of paging through script]

Voice 1: Buckingham.

Voice 3: Buckingham, right. The script makes it look like it coulda not been Buckingham, but actually Richard III, who killed his nephews.

Voice 2: Yes, well, that’s part of the intriguing aspect of the script, that we don’t know who did it. It’s a rewrite of the traditional narrative from Shakespeare. It’s fully in line with the modern scholarship that says we can’t determine for certain who did it.

Voice 3: Well, there is such a thing as too much devotion to history, you know.

Voice 2: What do you mean, exactly?

Voice 1: [clears throat] I think our financer would like you to consider some changes about that particular story line.

Voice 2: Okay … [tension in voice]

Voice 3: [undisturbed, enthusiastic] Yeah, so, Rich, we been looking at your fans in our marketing surveys and we learned that one of the things they love best about you is that you’re such a great uncle. You get all the approval points for being a sexy, single bachelor from both men and women, but women in particular love that you look you could be a great family guy. That comes from two things. First, taking your mom–

Voice 2: My mum.

Voice 3. Huh?

Voice 2: My mum.

Voice 3: Yeah, right [laughs].  Your mum. To the London premiere of The Hobbit. And the fact that every now and then you say something sweet about your little nephew. Chicks love that.

Voice 2: So what does my family have to do with this?

Voice 1: Richard–

Voice 3: Well it turns out that when we poll about how female fans feel about you being in a film where you kill your nephews–

Voice 2: Maybe kill my nephews. Maybe not–

Voice 1: Richard, just stay calm and hear him out–

Voice 3: When we poll that, it turns out that your female fans just hate that idea. And you know, it’s going to be hard to hide that. Because apparently the main thing anyone knows about this guy, Richard III, if they know anything, which is kind of a problem already, is that he killed his nephews.

Voice 2: He might have killed his nephews. Possibly not.

Voice 1: Richard–

Voice 3: So here’s what we think. We’d like Langley to rewrite the script so that your nephews survive–

Voice 2: [incredulous] What???

Voice 3: –so that your nephews survive.

Voice 2: [exasperated] Is that an absolute requirement? What? You do know that makes the whole story make no sense.

Voice 1: Just hear him out, Richard, please.

Voice 2: There’s more?

Voice 3: Yes. We also found that your fans are really curious about your personal life. So, we would like to cast your mom–

Voice 2: My mum.

Voice 3: Yes, your mum, sorry, as Cecily Neville.

Voice 1: We can still negotiate on that, can’t we?

Voice 2: Yes, I’m sorry, my mum doesn’t like to speak in public. Or call attention to herself. For any reason.

Voice 3: Well, we’ll talk. But the really important thing is [pauses]

Voice 2: Yes?

Voice 3: We want to cast your actual nephew as Edward V. What’s his name again?

Voice 2: Oh, no, we’re not going to go there. Plus, he’s several years too young.

Voice 3: Oh, we’d put lifts in his shoes or something. CGI. He’s old enough. Main thing is, he looks enough like you to make the fans swoon. He does look like you?

Voice 2: I hope not, I hate my nose. But you are not casting my nephew as Edward V!

Voice 3: No, no, Rich, just listen, it will be perfect.

Voice 2: [snorts] You’ve got to be kidding.

Voice 3: Yes, in this version of the biopic Edward V won’t die in the Tower, and you and your nephew will go on to have kingly and knightly adventures together. Maybe refight the Battle of Bosworth–

Voice 2: If Edward V hadn’t died there wouldn’t have been a Battle of Bosworth!

Voice 3: Well, we’ve called in a historical consultant, a history professor, and she says that you can’t prove a counterfactual argument either way. So that’s perfect for a film script! But I agree, maybe the Battle of Bosworth is too bloody. Chicks don’t like to see kids in jeopardy.

Voice 1: We can talk about that. Maybe there’s another possibility.

Voice 3: Yes, Rich, just think about it. There’s room for a whole franchise here, and the fans love the idea that Richard III and Edward V would band together to fight crime — sort of like a late medieval Batman and Robin. That scenario tests so well with our marketing sample.

Voice 2: What? This is out of the question.

Voice 1: [in the direction of Voice 3] Well, my client and I will obviously need to talk about this. Thanks for coming in.

Voice 3: Thanks for meeting with us. Rich, we think this is an idea with legs and we’re really excited about doing this film with you if you can just see your way to involving your mom–

Voice 2: [dangerously calm] Mum.

Voice 3: Yes, your mum and your nephew. And to changing the script to allow Edward V to survive.

[sound of chairs scraping]

Voice 2: Is the financing contingent on the script change?

Voice 3: Yes, of course. But this will be a fantastic film, Rich. The potential is endless. We think it will be like Rob Roy meets Mu-Lan with a little sprinkling of Pretty Woman mixed in when Richard III is bedding his paramours.

Voice 2: Paramours?

Voice 3: Yeah, I know you wanted Blanchett, but I don’t think she does sex scenes. Or maybe we’ll get a body double for that part. Or just cast Mila Kunis

Voice 2: Mila Kunis?

Voice 3: Yeah, since that BBC interview that went viral she’s everybody’s favorite girl. Career-changing, that interview, I tell you.

Voice 3: Audiences will go wild for it. Rich, just think about it.

Voice 1: Thanks for coming in. We’ll get back to you once we’ve had time to think about it.

Voice 3: Great. Let’s be in touch.

[sound of door closing.]

[moment of silence]

[sound of chair crashing against wall and muffled cry of exasperation]

Voice 1: [sighs]

[several minutes pass]

Voice 2: I’m terribly sorry. Please take the replacement costs out of your commission.

Voice 1: I didn’t think it was such a bad idea.

Voice 2: What? Letting Edward V live? Or casting my nephew?

Voice 1: I didn’t know you’d feel so strongly. And what do you have against Mila Kunis?

Voice 2: Well, I do. And the last time I saw Mila Kunis on screen she was having sex with Natalie Portman.

Voice 1: And you love Natalie Portman. That’s another story fans love about you.

[sound of chair being picked up — and then being set down again]

Voice 1: Okay, okay, good job of holding your temper. Well, so that’s out. There is another financer interested. Can you come to another meeting this afternoon? I think if I call right now, I can get her interested.

Voice 2: You know I’m supposed to fly out in four hours.

Voice 1: But you can’t go ahead without the financing.

Voice 2: [sighs / growls]. I’ll ring the airline. Maybe I can stay one more night and catch the red-eye afterwards.

***

[Top secret transcripts from the afternoon meeting with the alternative financer will be published soon. Watch this space! were published the next day.

***

In case you’re not familiar with the word nepotism and its word origin — a discussion at wikipedia.

~ by Servetus on March 12, 2013.

48 Responses to “Armitage nepotist”

  1. LOL!!!! Why do I suspect that might not be too far from reality?! Great job!

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  2. Fantastic! But I agree, sadly probably too close to the truth for comfort!

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    • I found this transcript basically plausible, which is why I published it. Less certain about the next part, but the lawyers said it was okay to go ahead.

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  3. Loved this!

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  4. Brilliant!! on flying form Serv xxx

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  5. Bloody marvelous, Serv!! Spitting coffee, ROFL. The reason it is so hilarious is that it is perilously close to reality.

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  6. Lost for words here… 😉

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  7. *Roflmao*
    More please!!!!!!!!

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  8. Best parody of the year! Dripping irony hits every note. Actually, casting Rickman as Buckingham not the worst of the profit-makers’ ideas. RIII could make an appearance in the finale a la Marian, to watch his nephew (formerly known as Perkin Warbeck) crowned, with Lady Gaga (Elizabeth of York) at his side. After enjoying Henry Tudor (Brad Pitt/Tom Cruise/Mel Gibson?) hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor.

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  9. Oh Serv, this is just brilliant! I had such a laugh, I could actually see it in my mind’s eye, heard RA’s incredulity and increasing annoyance. I can’t wait for the continuation of this. Well done.

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  10. Simply wonderful. Had to read everything laughing loud! Not very far from truth I deem… 😦

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    • Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s why Armitage didn’t say anything about it in his radio interview. That’s the real reason.

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  11. Hilarious! Chillingly possible.

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  12. Ha! If these financiers are involved, RA better start laying off the pizzy and wine and pumping iron–because you know his abs will be on display. Maybe there will be a KR3 armour dressing scene? Or they could just CGI in RA from his RH days as Sir Guy! Ha!

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  13. You naughty, naughty wench! Not only do you almost kill us with laughter, but you manage to ridicule Hollywood AND the petition online that asks Peter Jackson to add a scene to The Hobbit: There and Back Again in which Thorin, Fili and Kili are seen ‘alive’, being received with honors by their ancestors in whatever equivalent of the Hereafter the Dwarves may have gone to after an honorable death.

    I had a handful of ‘Hint of Salt’ Ritz crackers and was about to crumble them in order to add them to my steaming cup of hot chocolate, when I made the unwise choice to read this without putting them down first. Let’s just say…I will be picking up tiny little crumbs for a while; they’re all over my surrounding area!

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    • Well, I’m not ridiculing the petition. I’m more ridiculing the idea that producers pay such close attention to what fans think about things — to the extent that they would make a story completely unintelligible on the basis of fan preferences …

      careful, crumbs=bad for computer

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  14. […] Armitage nepotist […]

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  15. This was LOL all the way through and I agree with everyone else that it’s way too close for comfort. I noticed in the Leicester interview, RA ignored a question re Ms. Langley’s script and congratulated her on the success of the excavation instead.

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    • He said he read the script and has known her for many years but neither denied nor confirmed any involvement in her particular project.

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      • I find that sort of communication intriguing. I suppose he’s getting advised on his every move now days.

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        • Well, PL confirmed RA’s involvement in her project and I don’t think she lied when she said he’s in LA talking to potential interested parties. RA has said for many years that he’s working on the script with a writer and we know that that writer is PL because fans have been in contact with her. But it may very well be that they end up just selling the idea and it gets completely rewritten by a professional writer.

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          • That’s why I found it odd that he didn’t give a direct answer to the question. It would be interesting to know who’s involved in the negotiations. I would think BBC would be the best venue for this sort of production, but I have no idea how these things get done.

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            • I think they have tried their luck with the BBC and other British channels long ago with no success. If we are talking about a TV series not a film an American channel seems more likely, perhaps not HBO but History Channel that is just breaking into producing their own fictional series?

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              • History Channel has gotten a lot of attention lately for their series The Hatfield and McCoys and now The Bible. It’ll be interesting to see if development/interest continues for the RIII project and how it will turn out. I enjoy RA on the screen and watching him develop a character, but I’d like to see his creativity in other areas such as the production of this project.

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  16. This is too good.I was laughing the whole time! Especially the part where the movie is supposed to be 300 meets Braveheart with action from Die hard and costumes from The Princess Bride xD

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  17. Yes! Mila Kunis!…and Ashton Kutcher for Richard III 😀
    I needed that, thanks Servetus:*

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  18. […] [Yesterday, we reported that a group of particularly intense fans had infiltrated the office of Richard Armitage's agent in Los Angeles and heard some details on conditions for the possible financing of his Richard III ambitions. Below follow the transcripts retrieved from the afternoon meeting of Armitage, his agent, and another possible financer — at least, what we were able to hear before an unfortunate accident. Note that voices have the same designations as in the previous transcript.] […]

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  19. Thanks for the laugh!

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  20. […] that he’s not interested any longer. My bitter spoofs about scriptwriting in the spring, here and here, notwithstanding, that story can’t be changed much and still be recognizable. It has […]

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  21. […] analytical; some biographical; some persuasive; some poetic; some fantastical; some erotic; some satirical; some programmatic. Not everything that might be said on any topic can be said in all of these […]

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  22. […] lifted from the CIA, to eavesdrop in the office of Armitage's agent in Los Angeles to good benefit here and here. While they had hoped to profit from the current UK fad for phone hacking, recent events […]

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  23. […] from Richard Armitage’s agent’s office. This was the last one, from this summer, and a previous installment from 2013 when the Richard III buzz was hot. This one begins between someone in the agent’s office and […]

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