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Stephen Fry Heists DOORS OPEN For ITV
I’ve long been convinced that in order for any American to lay claim to the title “nerd,” that American must take a crash-course in British comedy, around about the time of his or her adolescence. This is not just because that’s how things shook out for me, but I’ve noticed how thoroughly mired in British culture a lot of American nerds are, whether it’s Monty Python or Doctor Who. And one man who transcends comedy, and indeed any genre, is Stephen Fry, that British national treasure who is now turning his considerable powers to a caper-comedy.
Fry has lately been in the sights of crime-heads as it is with his handful of appearances on Bones as Dr. Gordon Wyatt. But Doors Open sounds like a project that is a little more appealing to, well, nerds.
Produced by Fry for the UK network ITV, Doors Open is the story of an art professor, a banker, and “a self-made millionaire” who conspire to swap out a valuable art collection with forgeries and reap the profits. Dougie Henshall–who is likely to be best known over here for his role on the British sci-fi show of a couple years ago, Primeval–will be playing the banker character, and Fry himself will be playing the art professor, which is just smart casting. If you’ve ever read an interview with Fry, or caught any of his Stephen Fry in America series, or really anything where the guy just talks, you know how smart the guy is. He likely could have been a professor of art or of anything, if he hadn’t been so damn funny.
Doors Open is based on the book of the same name by Ian Rankin, the Scottish crime writer and creator of the “Inspector Rebus” series. I’ve had very little exposure to Rankin’s stuff; in fact, I believe the only thing of his I’ve read was his Vertigo Crime book starring Hellblazer‘s John Constantine, Dark Entries. I was less than thrilled with that book, but they probably had less to do with Rankin than it did with DC’s editorial decisions, e.g. the ridiculous cover price and the launching of a “crime comics” line with a supernatural/horror story. Perhaps I’ll get my mitts on a copy of the book before I see the film. Either way, the book coulda been written by John Grisham, and all you woulda had to do is attach Fry’s name to it, and I’d be sold.
Shooting starts later this month, so keep your eyes peeled for the film version of Doors Open sometime next year, I’d guess.