Andres Laszlo Sr. wrote the book, together with Didier Haudepin he wrote the film script, and Haudepin then directed the movie. Because of contractual disputes, the film was never shown outside Spain. Twice (2000 & 2002) Gallimard has offered me to sign contracts with producers for remakes but I said "no" both times. As my agent, "all" you have to do is to find one of the used-to-be interested producers (or a new), make them raise their bid 15%, and claim your 20% (of €450,000). This job is only for a French or Spanish agent with experience in the field.
Andres Laszlo Sr. wrote My Uncle Jacinto/Mi Tio Jacinto in 1955, and it immediately became a blockbuster movie (Ladislao Vajda produced, Pablito Calvo starred). Today the movie is a regular contender for the Spanish or Hispanic number one (or top-five, or top-ten) spot "all-times" in film festivals. Considering how popular it was/is, it’s strange that nobody has asked me to let them turn it into an animated movie. I think of it as one of the most popular children’s books/movies never to have been animated. I want an agent to find someone to turn My Uncle Jacinto into an animated movie.
I do not know whether Senior wrote this from scratch or from some a text that now has been lost (Senior was a passionate pacifist/anti-uniforms, so I think there could have been an underlying text) but he is accredited as script-writer (minus dialogue): Ladislao Vajda directed, and Warner Brothers produced. I have never seen the film. Find a way to watch it and surprise me with your proposal!
Doña Juana must once have been a theater script, but the original score has been lost. What instead got published in Spanish was "a script dressed up as a novella" (Senior's Spanish publishers didn't publish theatre scripts). Senior worked as an actor and as a theater director in his youth, but I do not know whether Doña Juana was ever staged, but if so, it must have been back in the 1930s. However, as a mime, it has been performed by Marcel Marceau in the 1960s. I have had this text turned back into a theater script/musical and though it still hasn't received the attention it deserves, it is presentable. As my Doña Juana agent, I want you to help see it improved or staged.
The Challenge is my adaptation of my father’s bestselling/blockbusting My Uncle Jacinto. In my adaptation bullfighting becomes boxing; Madrid/La Quinta, Cape Town/Mandela Park, and white faces, colored or black. The script has been to IFFR/International Film Festival Rotterdam where I applied for production grants to produce the film in Cape Town with Tim Spring (Raw Target, Reason to Die, etc.) as director. They called it “a near miss”. The script is only available in English, though the first draft of a Spanish translation is underway.
Senior wrote it as a theater script in the 1930s. The script has been lost but only after it was turned into a novella. Senior was advised by his publishers, Gallimard, to take this novella to the Spanish film industry, something I do not think he ever did (but Marcel Marceau performed it as a mime-drama as Don Juan). Though I have turned this novella back into the script it once was, it needs to be turned into a film script, presentable to cinema producers.
Whereas the original book-text of Paco Never Fails emphasized the anthropological aspect and was a history-drama, the movie focused on (a strong, dark) the comedy aspect. The original (book) text came with crime undertones, and one can feel how Senior was considering adding a murder-mystery dimension (a genre not that popular at the time). Even though some new producer(s) trying to buy the adaptation rights could well be on the cards, I have started (still very early days) to re-adapt the original text into the murder mystery it originally nearly became, and I have some thoughts about setting the action in Goa (India); not because I spend the winters there but because it (esp. "Portuguese Goa") would make a much better background than even the original: Madrid.
Karl, a sculptor, escapes WW 2 to Tangiers (Morocco). One day he finds what obviously is his (3-4y old) son at his doorstep with a letter: You always wanted a son without a mother: here he is. Do not try to find out who I am. XXX. As the war ends the boy asks his father to find his mother. There are three possible women, and Kurt goes in search: Naples, Paris, and Avila. This is the first of my father’s three major novels and the only not to become a film. It has been very much improved (esp. as given the content editing it originally never received) as it was adapted for cine, and (for the first time) translated into English. I am contemplating working this book towards synopsis/scenario myself but I need ideas as to the structure. A straight/traditional timeline is not an option, and I am looking for something "a la Tarantino" (see below). Mother Unknown was about to become a movie at Senior's demise, and there was a script that got lost, though I still retain Senior's synopsis.
Senior, before leaving his homeland (Austro-Hungary), to save on the rent, took up residence in the famous Turkish Baths of Budapest (the "castle"). In this book, which is mainly a love story, we follow the protagonist, a good-looking actor, as an upper-class girl falls in love with him, against backstories taken from the lives of the girl, the other "seals" and their various survival scams. Though I am weak on love stories yet even I can see that there is plenty of potentials, and though the ending is great in text, I need help to make it work cinematically. The Seal Castle is now for the first time available in English.
This is a huge project - Odin, Vikings, adventures, terrorism, Islam, Swedish feminism, etc. - and its two first presentable book-drafts are now seeing the light of day (in English and Swedish). These texts, I believe, sooner or later, will become movies, but as I, quite moronically, have been working in two languages simultaneously (thus producing more headaches than high-quality finished text) the most pressing question is “Shall I proceed in English or Swedish?” These scripts I would not be capable to develop to the standard I would like without the assistance of a publisher/production company.
is about a wooden horse that escapes the merry-go-round when everyone at the amusement park is asleep. He then sets off for the continent where he believes that all horses roam free: America. As he gallops off into the night we follow him on his adventures and we get to know his (pretty shallow, and quite human-like and easy-to-identify-with) personality through his reflections over the nature of the world, his fellow animals on the merry-go-round, us bipeds, and the slavery we have forced upon him. Yes, of course, he ends up going in a circle. I love the story, that could become a “deep” animated family/children’s movie, and I would be happy to provide it with a pre-discussed treatment to form the base for further talks, treatments, and scripts.
is a vampire story that I'd like to see developed into a movie. It is set in traditional "vampire-country," and in “a proper vampire setting”. Senior had some dubious branches on his ancestral tree (ok, so I have them as well but I am presently symptom-free), and his disbelief in the supernatural gets severely upset.
is a love story with an amazing and modern/undecidable twist that could be turned into either cine or theater. It is set in post-war Germany, where it delves deep into the nature of "the beautiful feminine´s" psyche; something that I am not very good at, so I could at best assist.
is mainly about a casino-heist, and could be turned into good cine. Also, it has a character that, properly developed, could become ‘worthy of his own TV series (as in a wicked version of The Persuaders). Thirdly, though the story can stand on its own, it has a casino-scam-part that could contribute to an action movie where the "I've-given-up-hero" luckily stumbles upon a cool way to make a huge income in a casino, and though the situation could be a little difficult to set up, the quality would be excellent.
Here we follow a day in the life of a US spy in Italy in the late 1940s. His girlfriend is a spy too (though he doesn't know that), and in this short story - that gives a great insight into the day-to-day drudgery of the life of spies at the time - we (well, the smartest among us) see how our hero gets set up to be framed for murder, only he doesn't realize this. This could be developed into a full-length mystery-thriller, maybe close in spirit to North by Northwest.
I have a fascination with man-eating tigers, and this is one of several short tiger stories (where we see things from a tiger's point of view) set in the Sundarbans (an Indian/Bangladeshi beach jungle). The stories are all quite entertaining, somewhat continuous, and reasonably well-researched. I don't really know what to do with them unless one wants to make a movie starring a man-eating tiger, and with things seen from the tiger's point of view. Actually, maybe that's not all that bad an idea...
Imagine a giant of a man, hitchhiking through the Sahara because it's on his bucket list and that a small feminine man full of hatred at midnight raises a stone to crush the sleeping giant's skull. The giant awakes just in time to raise his hands to protect himself, and the small man throws the stone beside him; "Scorpion!" he exclaims, and sits down atop the stone so that the big man shall not lift the stone to check. There they sit, the hitchhiker desperately trying not to fall asleep (and so be killed), the small, refusing to budge because believing that remaining on the stone until dawn is his only way to survive, and we follow their somewhat strained discussion (additional insights and murder-attempts could be inserted). Maybe this story could become theater; it contains amazing possibilities, especially if one could just get the discussion right (or if I could remember it).
Paco Never Fails is set in Madrid in the early 1940s, just after the Spanish Civil War. Here we meet Paco Garcia who makes his living by mating with young girls from the countryside: girls who have come to Madrid to make better lives for themselves as wet-nurses (after unwanted pregnancies) and sooner or later need to boost the milk flow. Though this impregnation is an occupation that seldom gets talked about, at the time (allegedly, it still is) it was a very real profession, and the impregnator most likely to succeed i.e. ‘who never failed,’ was the one highest in demand. However, Paco has failed once, so when his wife finally becomes pregnant, this father of thousands realizes… This impregnation was an occupation also in India, and since I stay in and around Mumbai (mainly in Goa that with its Portuguese influence probably is a better setting than Mumbai to make the story more dramatic, contrasting and believable)... I would like to develop/adapt a Goa script for Bollywood, and I need expert assistance both anthropologically (for reality-check), and "Bollywood style dramatization".
In Goa, during the 1930s/40s girls from the countryside with unwanted pregnancies became wet nurses. These women needed to become re-impregnated when the milk flow stopped. There were (if not, let's invent one) men specializing in this impregnation; I am looking for assistance to get into the head of such a man and to understand everything about him: his life, his background, his socio-economic position, his peers, his values, his issues, his pride, etc... I need to understand what his life would have been like so that I can write from his perspective. Also, I need to understand how to do this in a way that will make the story interesting for Bollywood.
I am a writer who has just finished taking care of sorting out (digitalizing, improving, adapting, translating, and finishing) my and my father's (who once was considered top-Europe) fictional texts. Now I am about to start turning these texts towards treatments and scripts. As I am an Indiophile - and, as I spend much of my winters in Mumbai/Goa - I am looking for all sorts of text-to-script contacts, including advisors, co-writers, agents, and producers.
SUNDRY CINE 1: TANGIERS PREP
Andres Laszlo Sr. wrote Mother Unknown/Mere Inconnue, and at his death in 1984 this book (just like his other two major novels had already been) was about to be turned into a movie. Today this book has been translated to English and Senior wrote a synopsis (as well as a script but that has been lost). I am thinking about producing a treatment, maybe even a script, and I am looking for someone local to get engaged: to do some preparatory scouting, looking out for/identifying locations (help with finance & local interest would be welcome as well). If you're interested I'll send you the book, and then I'll pop over for a cup of mint tea (I live right across in Malaga).
Year 1 (1936-37). Kurt (sculptor) has sex with 3 women, Y3. Kurt escapes WW2 and settles down in Tangiers during WW2, Y4. A young boy (3-4) with a letter appears at Kurt's door: "You always wanted a son without a mother: here he is; don't try to find me. XXX" Y4-Y9 Kurt and boy live/bond in Tangiers. Y9 As the war ends boy wants his mother but does not know who/where. Y10 Kurt (with or without boy) goes in search of Mother. Woman 1 - no, Woman 2 - no & Woman 3 - ... Well, a straight timeline obviously would be boring, and, of course, something Tarantino-like comes to mind. I can see that a Kill Bill-like structure would work well: structural advice needed.
My father’s films (3), un-filmed script (1), and theater-play (1) are all produced by/directed-towards the French or Spanish film industry (in the case of My Uncle Jacinto, also the Italian). French Gallimard had French (I think) producer-customers to make a new Paco Never Fails twice, Senior negotiated to make a film out of Mother Unknown with a French producer at his demise, and Doña Juana have theater and film potential in either Spain or France. My portfolio thus ought to be interesting for a French or Spanish cinematic agent.
There are film distribution companies that are reluctant to pay for films they have shown (and should have paid a royalty for) in Luxembourg and Madrid, and I believe I own the (unexplored) viewing/showing rights of Paco Never Fails for the Scandinavian countries: assistance needed.
If you have read about my project and understood my situation - top-European writer-father, one art-book to set myself up for life(?), drug-policy researcher, twenty years of adventures, ten years of text-work, now moving from books to cine - you might feel that you can be of use to me/use me in some way not listed here. If so, do not hesitate to get in contact.