MOVIES & SCRIPTS
(Project Laszlo & Laszlo contains a smaller but upgraded version of this article)
"Movies" are about the three movies that have been made from Andres Laszlo Senior's texts and scripts, and the lack of payment from the corporations that have broadcasted these movies (or, from the individuals/organizations that have sold to these broadcasting corporations the rights to do so, "forgetting" about my father and his rights to royalties as a writer/co-writer of original text and/or film-script). "Scripts" are about the possibility of new movies/scripts: a new adaptation of Paco Never Fails, a script for Mother Unknown, an animated version of My Uncle Jacinto, finding new script-ideas in The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles that contains 45 short stories, and the possibility of staging Dona Juana as a theatre play or operetta. Also, my The Challenge already exist as a script VIDEO
1. MY UNCLE JACINTO
My father wrote the book Mi Tio Jacinto/My Uncle Jacinto and then also the script for the movie together with Ladislao Vajda. As the movie became a blockbuster and still is popular - often shown as part of "Spains 5 or 10 best movies ever" - there ought to be some considerable outstanding royalties from the broadcasting of the movie, especially in the Hispanic world. Spanish "SGAE" seems willing to pay me only for the last showings (I am not 100% certain)and the Italians (it was a Spanish/Italian coproduction) have as far as I know not paid me anything. South America and the rest of the world I know nothing about, and apart from SGAE´s royalty payments of 2 x €2500 I have received nothing since my father's demise in 1985. I am now a resident of Spain, the movie is still popular, and I see that it is aired not only by Spanish and Mexican television but also broadcasted in various South/Central American countries, Italy, France and other European countries. So, there should be plenty of royalties to be collected/recovered. SACD (the French) say that though Senior was a member, no My Uncle Jacinto is registered with them (though Der Drennende Radfahrer is).
2. PACO NEVER FAILS
Andres Laszlo Sr. wrote the book Paco el Seguro/Paco Never Fails, and he co-wrote the script with Dedier Haudepin who also directed. However, it seems that Senior is not credited with his contribution to the script (or, even for writing the book). The book/script was turned into a great movie, but because of contractual complications it initially never got shown outside Spain. Together with (director) Dedier Haudepin and (my then-agent) George Hoffman I tried to acquire the outside-Spain rights, but without success. However, it seems that Allain Katz succeeded where we failed, and I have a contract with Mr Katz, negotiated by George Hoffman, that gives me the ownership of the broadcasting rights for the Scandinavian countries. However, I have never received the Beta copy that the contract stipulates that I shall receive, nor the money that I am owed. There should be royalties from Paco not only from Spain but also from France and maybe from elsewhere. Spanish SGAE has Paco el Seguro registered, but SACD (the French script-writers' organization) says that though Senior was a member, no Paco Never Fails is registered with them (though Der Drennende Radfahrer is).
3. SIN UNIFORME
Senior wrote this script (the story part) to this movie together with Eugenio Montes (the dialogue part). It was released in 1950, and I have no idea as to rights and royalties. However, this movie is registered with SACD; I guess it could beDer Drennende Radfahrer.
4. PACO NEVER FAILS
Gallimard (Prune Berge/TV5) 1999-2002 called me to Paris at least two times in order to sign contracts (€200,000 to €270,000) allowing for new adaptations of the original text (into new movies), but both times it came to nothing (mainly because I was stupid). Yet, this suggests that Paco could be the stuff of new adaptations for the screen. Also, now a new and much improved English text is available for script-adaptation, something that hopefully can bring some English-language interests. If you have read the book and contemplate getting in contact, it might interest you that in the new version more suspicion has been thrown on Ricardo and the importance of "the blue circle" has been emphasized.
5. MOTHER UNKNOWN
This, Senior's first major novel, he was turning into a script at the time of his demise, but though I have the correspondence, I have lost the script. However, whether or not it is recovered, this is a text out of which good cine could be made. I, Junior, have done new translations of Paco el Seguro and My Uncle Jacinto, but although the original translation of Paco wasn't the best, I have not been able to improve on either of these in any significant way. However, Mother Unknown - also published as Donde los Vientos Duermes, Mere Inconnue & Die Mutter Meinen Shones - is a totally different kettle of fish. Here, Senior is still "unfinished" as a writer and remarkably "improvable." I have in 2017 finished "translating while adapting" this text from Spanish to English and though I realize it sounds presumptuous, I am pretty sure that I have turned it into a better story and a better basis for a script. Considering that the text was a "hit" or at worst a "near miss" in the 1980s, I feel that there ought to be a good chance that my into-English adaptation shall do well, especially as the text up until now has not at all been available in English.
6. MY UNCLE JACINTO/ANIMATION
Honestly, how many best-selling children's novels - that have been turned into nine languages and adapted into a blockbuster movie, that has never been animated - do you know of? Well, I know of only one: My Uncle Jacinto, and it is true that I ought to have been more active in promoting my father's texts, earlier. Still, My Uncle Jacinto would make for an absolutely outstanding animated movie, and as the Spanish nowadays are great animators, maybe it should be made in my new home country.
7. DONA JUANA
As I finished translating this "theatre script dressed us so as to read like a novella," I was amazed. This is world class - probably to be explained at least in part by the fact that father was a theatre director back in Austro-Hungary - not only for theatre but a forteriori so for operetta/opera. With some work, it could be rewritten so as to be performed by two men and a woman (3+1 much easier) and only 2 scenes are required. Marcel Marceau starred in a mime-version in Paris.
8. THE CHALLENGE
The Challenge is my adaptation of My Uncle Jacinto where the 1950s, Madrid, and bullfighting becomes 2010s, Cape Town, and boxing. The book, which presently is available in six languages, is designed to become a good movie, and a script exists in English, but more about this under the heading: The Challenge: Script. I sought a production grant from RFF (with producer Tim Spring), and I was informally told that it had been a near miss, mainly caused by what they interpreted as a "Hollywood ending.
9. THE LASZLO & LASZLO CHRONICLES
I have written 23 short stories of my own, and I have translated/adapted 23 of Senior's short stories. These stories I have gathered from two sources: (i) My father's "Solo el Paisaje Cambia"/"Tout Passe..." that are both available on Amazon as a collection of short stories, first published just before Andres Laszlo Sr.'s three major novels & (ii) I, Andres Laszlo Jr. have had some pretty interesting experiences of my own - mainly as people and animal have tried to put a premature end to my existence - and I have written 23 short stories around this and other interesting topics and experiences. I have now joined my short stories with my father's, producing The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicle, and today several of our short stories read pretty well as (film) scenarios/treatments.