Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mark Lawrence's "Prince of Thorns," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.

The entry begins:
Prince of Thorns is about one person. Jorg Ancrath is clever, amoral, prone to extravagant violence, and to cutting his way towards an efficient if bloody solution to the problems before him. Above all this he carries with him a childhood more horrific than his present.

Any film of Prince of Thorns would stand or fall on two things, first it would stand on the skill and passion of the actor portraying Jorg. Second, it would depend upon a director of sufficient insight to understand that despite the brutality this is not a shallow hack and slash book. It would require a director brave enough to give the public the film of that deeper book, rather than just the murder and mayhem the studio might believe the public wants.

Ironically, given that I’ve been asked to talk about a film adaptation, the book that directly inspired Prince of Thorns is best known because of the controversial film based upon it. Prince of Thorns was inspired by Burgess’ book A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick’s film of the book was banned in the UK for most of my adult life. I think Kubrick and McDowell might well have pulled off a good and ban-worthy version of Prince of Thorns and Jorg.

Given Jorg’s age (14 for much of the book, 10 for much of the flashback sections) a young actor is clearly required. However, young actors haven’t had much time to make an impression on me and their names rarely stick. As such I suggest since this is an exercise in imagination (I doubt one in ten thousand fantasy books is made into a film) that we merely imagine which older actor now known to us would have made a good Jorg in their younger days. Three names suggest themselves to me. Firstly Jack Nicholson for his intensity and raw crazy. Secondly Johnny...[read on]
Visit Mark Lawrence's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Prince of Thorns.

--Marshal Zeringue