Alex Garland

Special Thanks
Alex Garland
Location:
North London
Day job:
Novelist and Screenwriter
Dream job:
Novelist and Screenwriter
Film:
The Age of Stupid
Time on the job:
Three weeks over Xmas, starting one day after I first heard of the project
Original connection:
Memorable moment:
Pete P using my air rifle to fire a can of baked beans off the head of Rodin's Thinker at the drama shoot (but it got cut from the final film)

Franny writes: Pete Postlethwaite blew our minds by agreeing to be in our film, without seeing a script (as it didn't exist), but the one-and-only date he could do was in six weeks time. We needed a drama screenwriter, fast. Our exec producer said it was impossible to find a great writer, who is available to start work immediately, who gives a shit about climate change, who is not insanely busy and who will work for Stupid's non-existence wages. Two days later - after a shout-out on the crew mailing list - funder Fred Mulder mentioned that he's the art dealer for world-renowned author Alex Garland (author of The Beach and screenwriter of 28 Days Later and Sunshine), who lives just up the road from Spanner in Camden. One forwarded email and one lunch in Hampstead later, Alex and Franny were arguing over every syllable.

As you can see from our test versions of the drama scenes, the script left a little to be desired before Alex came along, and, as you'll see when you watch the final thing, brilliant after.

Alex and Franny have an ongoing argument about who should get the "Writer" credit on the film. Alex says that writing is about inventing the scenario, characters and plot - all of which were in place when he came along - and that the dialogue is just the icing on the cake. Franny says that almost every word that comes out of Pete's mouth in the final film was written by Alex. Franny lost the argument and got the credit. Alex's parting shot: "You're never going to make it in the film industry if you can't take the credit for other people's work". 

 

Alex's Biog

1996 - The Beach. Alex's first novel became a cultural phenomenon - see this article and this article - and then a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. But he didn't write the screenplay for the movie.

2002 - 28 Days Later screenplay, directed by Danny Boyle

2003 - The Tesseract

2007 - Sunshine, again directed by the legend behind Trainspotting, Danny Boyle

Here is a video biography that neither Alex nor Age of Stupid created: