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A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:06 am
by Muswell_Hillbilly
Has anyone else seen this - https://www.businesspost.ie/news/odonne ... fly-434036?

From the Irish Times:
The son of property investors Patricia and Brian O’Donnell, who became embroiled in a €71 million row with Bank of Ireland over property loans and their Gorse Hill former home in Killiney, has set up a film production company that wants to revive the animated first World War pilot Biggles. The Sunday Business Post says Blake O’Donnell’s Blane Row Productions is in talks with the company that holds the rights to the character.

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:11 am
by Frecks
Was Biggles animated?

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:45 am
by kylie_koyote
Muswell, I can't read it without a subscription. Can you please give me some more info?

Is this possibly related to the Biggles TV series which we discussed on the old forum?

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:32 pm
by Fairblue
kylie_koyote wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:45 am
Muswell, I can't read it without a subscription. Can you please give me some more info?

Is this possibly related to the Biggles TV series which we discussed on the old forum?
No, I don't think it is. The production company isn't the same.

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:14 pm
by Kismet
Blake O’Donnell’s Blane Row Productions is in talks with the company that holds the rights to the character.
Isn't it our old friends who made the Biggles movie who still hold the rights?

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:49 am
by 266
Whatever happened to the Biggles movie that was being touted last year?? The people asked what we thought and then went off on another track. I lost interest when they said he would be some sort of grog artist making a great wartime comeback. Shame they don't read the books and write a script for the actual character instead of inventing a false one.

Anyway....animated??? There have been some excellent animations of classic stories. Some pretty awful ones too. Let's hope for the former.

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:50 am
by kylie_koyote
The one that we discussed on the old forum, that was a prospective TV series, rather than a feature film. It's this one: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6975788/?ref_=nv_sr_5

It was/is being written by this company: http://www.ravenousfilmworks.com/

I have a cousin who's got professional access and he said there wasn't much more information on the IMDB Pro page, but a production company was listed as Stormcell Entertainment (http://www.stormcell-entertainment.com/) which is apparently based in Germany.

Interestingly, I just (this morning) saw this listing for "Biggles and the Night Witches": https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5804106/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Unfortunately there is no information beyond the title, but I am intrigued.

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:01 pm
by SopwithCamel
This may be slightly, well, very :offtopic2: but from what little experience I have, it seems that books and films/TV series cater to very different audiences. I've seen many movie/TV adaptions of books that made me wonder if the scriptwriters had ever come in contact with the original written material, and yet these often had great box offices, and, in some cases, even went on to win quite prestigious awards...

So, here's a question--if they made a tween fangirl version of Biggles with all the elements we canon lovers abhor (a completely irrelevant love story, planes from the wrong era, actors who look nothing like the books and spend the majority of their screen time making pointless statements that are meant to be funny...), but this film went on to revive general interest in the Biggles universe and created lots of new Biggles fans, and resulted in all the books being republished, and so on and so forth, do you think it would be worthwhile, or would that be a smear on the whole franchise?

Edited to add: I realize I am to some extent referencing the Biggles movie, but I don't think it really took off in the way I'm describing above.

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:13 pm
by Fairblue
kylie_koyote wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:50 am
The one that we discussed on the old forum, that was a prospective TV series, rather than a feature film. It's this one: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6975788/?ref_=nv_sr_5

It was/is being written by this company: http://www.ravenousfilmworks.com/

I copied that thread over. You'll find it here.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=164&p=5612&hilit=Sam#p5612

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:10 pm
by Kismet
SopwithCamel wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:01 pm
This may be slightly, well, very :offtopic2: but from what little experience I have, it seems that books and films/TV series cater to very different audiences. I've seen many movie/TV adaptions of books that made me wonder if the scriptwriters had ever come in contact with the original written material, and yet these often had great box offices, and, in some cases, even went on to win quite prestigious awards...

So, here's a question--if they made a tween fangirl version of Biggles with all the elements we canon lovers abhor (a completely irrelevant love story, planes from the wrong era, actors who look nothing like the books and spend the majority of their screen time making pointless statements that are meant to be funny...), but this film went on to revive general interest in the Biggles universe and created lots of new Biggles fans, and resulted in all the books being republished, and so on and so forth, do you think it would be worthwhile, or would that be a smear on the whole franchise?

Edited to add: I realize I am to some extent referencing the Biggles movie, but I don't think it really took off in the way I'm describing above.
I've been thinking about this, on and off, all day, Soppy.

In an ideal world, a book would be adapted very closely and it would be a roaring success as a film. The Harry Potter films managed it, in my opinion, but not many others. So, is it better to have a faithful reproduction which is lifeless (my mind is currently refusing to give up names of films which have scarred me in this way) or something only loosely based on the original which is a great success (such as James Bond)?

I think that I want an adaptation which remains true to the characters of the main protagonists. I don't mind certain liberties being taken if the spirit remains correct. There was an obscure series a few years ago which altered many details for ease of filming and others quite randomly and had storylines unrelated to the books but the relationships between the characters remained the same and so I found it very watchable.

I am a very bad person to watch films and TV adaptations with as I constantly mutter 'This wasn't in the book' but I do occasionally think a film is better than the book - mainly, I admit, if I haven't particularly liked a book. Sometimes, though, an adaptation can give me an insight into a book: I never understood the relationship between Holmes and Watson until Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman explained it to me.

I think that Biggles is a character who has gone beyond being defined by the actual books, like James Bond and Sherlock Holmes he belongs also to people who have never read the stories, or only a few in their childhood but who have a clear picture of him in their heads and this will be a problem with any adaptation to film.

I'd like to think that a Biggles tv series would recreate interest in the books, but I think many, especially young, people would try a couple and say 'This is old fashioned. I prefer the series.'

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:50 am
by 266
kylie_koyote wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:50 am
The one that we discussed on the old forum, that was a prospective TV series, rather than a feature film. It's this one: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6975788/?ref_=nv_sr_5

It was/is being written by this company: http://www.ravenousfilmworks.com/

I have a cousin who's got professional access and he said there wasn't much more information on the IMDB Pro page, but a production company was listed as Stormcell Entertainment (http://www.stormcell-entertainment.com/) which is apparently based in Germany.

Interestingly, I just (this morning) saw this listing for "Biggles and the Night Witches": https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5804106/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Unfortunately there is no information beyond the title, but I am intrigued.

The Night Witches were women pilots who flew against the Germans on the Russian front, usually in obsolete Po-2 biplanes, harassing them at night. It was the Germans who gave them the name (Nachthexen).

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:12 am
by Frecks
I think any adaptation of the Biggles books should keep the character the same. Biggles had many attributes which made him a hero and without those attributes he would just not be Biggles. I have long maintained that scriptwriters should either stick quite closely to the books or start from scratch with an entirely different set of characters.

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:08 am
by Spitfire666
There are some superb adaptations of many of the Agatha Christie and Naigo Marsh books on BBC Radio. The same two people - writer (Michael Bakewell) and director (Enid Williams) - did them all. Sadly, most writers in film and TV prefer to write their own story and just attach the name of a famous writer so that however far they tread from the original it can still be described as a Christie or whoever. I agree with you Frecks. Either respect the original or show your own creativity. Many talented folk on this forum show how it is done!

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:42 am
by Tracer
I agree with that wholeheartedly.

Harry Potter films were such a success because J. K. Rowling kept an iron hand on everything. I doubt there is that incentive for the inheritors of the Biggles genre.

Re: A Biggles movie revival?

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:05 pm
by id_ten_it
I used to come down strictly on the side of 'if it isn't true to the book, then what's the point' but now I come more in the middle, and think that if it's enough of a success that it gets people reading the original series, then that can't be a bad thing.

The problem I see with a Biggles adaptation is it will become just another war flying movie, and the name 'Biggles' will just be used to try and pull in a few more sales. There's enough happening in most of the settings of the books that they could make quite a good full length movie without jamming in a love interest or another character or any of the other things people love to shoe-horn in. Heck, there's enough books with 'innocents' in that they wouldn't even need to shoe-horn in another on the presumption that audiences need someone to relate to.
If it was just another war flying movie then I don't think you'd get the mitigation of people moving in to reading Biggles or even reading other stories/ histories around the era and would end up annoying fans and distancing potential readers who went in from the view of the movie.