Friday, November 18, 2011

Equatorial Guinea on the Big Screen?

Various sources are reporting that Ridley Scott is planning a film based on Simon Mann's 2004 effort to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea, a plot that Adam Roberts described in a book called The Wonga Coup.  Gerard Butler will play Mann in the film.

Much remains unclear about the coup attempt that ended with Mann's arrest--without a fight that Scott would be able to embellish with spectacular pyrotechnics--in Zimbabwe.  The drama for those who know about the episode (all four of us?) will lie in seeing (1) how far Scott takes dramatic license to turn a failed coup attempt into something worthy of his directing talents and (2) who Scott (and his screenwriter, Robert Edwards) decide to blame for it.  Was it simply a big money-making proposition--with Margaret Thatcher's son, Mark Thatcher, as the primary investor?  Were American and British intelligence services involved?  The word is that Simon Mann's forthcoming book, Cry Havoc, will not provide the answers to these questions.