Filming has started on the big screen adaptation of Nick Hornby’s 2005 novel, A Long Way Down. The Pascal Chaumeil directed film has a stellar cast including former James Bond Pierce Brosnan, Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, Sam Neill, Tony Collette, Imogen Poots, and Rosamund Pike.
A Long Way Down is the fourth Hornby novel to be made into a film following 1997′s Fever Pitch starring Colin Firth (it was remade in 2005 with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore), 2000’s High Fidelity (with John Cusack) and the 2002 Hugh Grant starrer About A Boy.
A Long Way Down is darkly-comic tale of suicide and redemption. Here’s the official synopsis (followed by the first image from the film):
‘’New Year’s Eve on the top of a London skyscraper. Martin (Brosnan) is literally on the edge. A once-beloved TV personality, he’s now desperate to jump. But he’s not alone. Single mother Maureen, (Collette), sassy teen Jess (Poots), and failed musician turned pizza-delivery boy JJ (Paul), have all turned up on the same roof with the same plan. Instead of jumping, these four strangers make a pact to stay alive and stay together until Valentine’s Day at least. Both funny and poignant, A Long Way Down follows this group of unlikely friends as they try to pull back from the brink.’’
The casting for this is spot on and each of the cast members should be able to bring the right amount of wit and melancholy to their roles (Collette played a similar role in About A Boy) and the UK setting means that many of Hornby’s subtleties won’t be lost in translation (see the remake of Fever Pitch).
It should be noted that this movie version of A Long Way Down has a strong James Bond connection. Brosnan played the character in four films, one of those – Die Another Day – also starred Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost. Sam Neill was in the running to play Bond in 1987’s The Living Daylights, but he lost out on the role when Brosnan was cast in the film (you can see his screen test on the film’s DVD). However, a clause in Brosnan’s Remington Steele contract saw him replaced by Timothy Dalton once filming commenced.
A solid cast and great source material means that A Long Way Down has the potential to be wonderful entertainment (and a sizable hit) when it is released next year.