Aug 31, 2015

Alex Rider to Return... in Print and on Screen?

Author and TV producer Anthony Horowitz (Foyle's War) gave a spoiler-filled interview with The Mail promoting his new James Bond novel Trigger Mortis, and in it he says that his popular teen spy character Alex Rider may soon return. Rider was very publicly retired in Horowitz's 2011 novel Scorpia Rising, which was subtitled "The Final Mission" and billed as a definitive swan song for the boy agent. But now the author tells the tabloid he will return in a surprisingly political (and now historical) scenario. In the midst of discussing his disillusionment with Tony Blair and disgust with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Horowitz told the Mail, "I’m going to write a new novella – my 'Octopussy.' A five-chapter story set in Iraq. Nobody knows that, so you’ve got a scoop. It has Alex penetrating the mountains in northern Iraq to discover the weapons of mass destruction."

"There are some, then?" interviewer Cole Moreton probes.

"Not after Alex finishes with them. That’s why Tony Blair never found them!" replies Horowitz. Moreton treats this as the very scoop Horowitz promises (and, indeed, the timeline fits; Alex's literary adventures spanned from 2000-2011), though to me it sounds like dry humor, so I'm not sure whether to take that "scoop" at face value or not. A new Alex Rider story would certainly be welcome, however!

Horowitz also teases that the teen spy could return to film. There was a movie made of the first book, Stormbreaker, back in 2006 (review here), but it was unceremoniously dumped by its American distributor and consequently flopped at the U.S. box office, despite a cast that included Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, Alex Pettyfer, Bill Nighy and Stephen Fry. Owing to the novels' immense popularity, though (especially in the UK), the franchise would seem one ripe for rebooting a decade later. And apparently there's someone, at least, thinking along those very lines. All Horowitz will reveal is, "There is interest from producers about making another but it is way too early to be able to talk about a film without putting a curse on it." That would be great! In fact, I would rather see Alex Rider get another shot cinematically than make a comeback in print. Let's all cross our fingers.

The whole interview (in which Horowitz makes some controversial statements about Ian Fleming and Skyfall, among other Bondian topics), as well as an exciting excerpt from Trigger Mortis that accompanies it, is well worth reading—but perhaps not until after you've read Horowitz's Bond novel. As I noted above, it certainly appears to be shockingly full of spoilers for the novel, and I wish I hadn't read it prior to reading the book. So proceed at your own risk.

No comments: