Possible future films for Clive Owen

News Andrew Blair 11 Apr 2012 - 15:33

If actor Clive Owen ever finds himself at a loose end, Andrew has a few film pitches which he thinks will be a perfect fit…

Described as potentially “one note” in Empire Magazine (with the qualifying comment of “it's a bloody good note and nobody else could play it better”), Clive Owen is more versatile than many give him credit for.

After a varied career in film, stage and television with appearances of note in Chancer, Close My Eyes, the original theatrical version of Closer, and 1997's double-header of Croupier and Bent, he reached the big time in with a very strong run of films (from Sin City in 2005 through to Shoot 'Em Up in 2007). Since then he has alternated between more obviously commercial work such as Duplicity and Killer Elite with more personal, human dramas such as Intruders and The Boys are Back.

The blurb at the top of his Internet Movie Database page runs thusly: “Recently breaking into the top ranks of British superstars who are making it huge in Hollywood, the smoothly virile actor Clive Owen was born on October 3, 1964, in Coventry.”

It is this "smooth virility" which obviously makes him worth watching. It's also his ability to move from something as cerebrally satisfying and gut-wrenching as Children Of Men to the brilliantly silly Shoot 'Em Up that makes him something of a favourite.

In keeping with our features on our ideal vehicles for actors, we present to you four films we'd love to see Clive "Manly but Largely Frictionless" Owen in, and one that we'd hate but would probably make loads of money.

Bomberman

Director: Alex Proyas
Supporting Cast: Paul Giamatti

Well, if they can make a movie from Battleship, they can damn well make one out of a videogame.

Clive Owen is Manny White, who’s woken up in a maze with no idea how he has got there or who he is. With him is a silent robot who responds to his vocal commands, and is armed with various kinds of explosive. The maze is filled with monstrous creatures and skull-emblazoned traps. White must find a way through the maze to safety with the help of his new robotic friend, all the while trying to find the answer to the question: who is Manny White? Why does he keep having flashbacks to meetings with a sinister man in black (Paul Giamatti)? Who or what is the Bungeling Empire?

The truth is something more terrible than anyone could possibly have imagined/quite easy to work out if you've ever played the game.

Ministry Of Space

Director: Duncan Jones
Supporting Cast: Tom Baker, Matt Berry, Jim Broadbent, Parminder Nagra

I have wanted Duncan Jones to direct this ever since I saw Moon. Ministry Of Space is the story of the alternate reality where Britain won the space race, driven forward by the unchecked drive of Air Commodore John Dashwood, who will here be played by the aforementioned Mr Owen, with his face like Thomas the Tank Engine's Dad, bringing the requisite charm and rage to the role as well as being a reasonable likeness for the character. Not only is the character a force of nature, altering the face of the entire 20th century by sheer force of will, but the ramifications of his acts take the story to a whole other level, where the older Dashwood will be played by Jim Broadbent.

Yes, it's another Warren Ellis comic adaptation. I can't help it if it's brilliant. Anyway, Chris Weston and Laura Martin's artwork is a major reason for this. Retro-future, military-industrial Dan Dare aircraft decorate the sky, and kids fly jetpacks across the Thames. The film has the capacity to look visually stunning, and Jones has shown that he can smuggle hard science-fiction concepts into mainstream movies with Source Code, and could do the same again here.  It may, sadly, necessitate a chin-stroking article in The Guardian about how comics are actually quite clever sometimes. This patronising diversion will be tempered by the presence of Tom Baker as Winston Churchill (look, it's my article, I'm allowed to indulge myself).

Killing In The Name Of

Director: Neil Marshall
Supporting Cast: James Purefoy, Sean Pertwee, Myanna Buring

Clive Owen is Cardinal Ken O'Bree. The world is falling into chaos. Soon Kim Kardashian's right to marry whichever man she wishes will be threatened by the prospect of gay marriage. Cardinal O'Bree is not happy. Not happy at all. It's been a while since the Inquisition and witchcraft hysteria. Too long. There is only one logical course of action: to invent a time machine, and prevent the Enlightenment from ever happening in as violent a way as possible. Cue the inevitable tagline, “I came here to kick arse, and praise the Lord. And I'm all out of arse.”

Followed by the slogan “Sacrilicious”. Too soon? Bring it.

The Magnificent Severn

Director: Banksy
Supporting Cast: Kevin McNally, Stephen Merchant, David Prowse, Russell Howard, some kids from Skins who should be free for filming as of next year, Lee Evans, Nick Brimble

Has there ever been a cowboy film set in and around Bristol? There should be. Probably. Clive Owen is The Man With Ten Names, who never betrays someone the same way twice and leaves a trail of tattered identities in his wake. He and his loyal band of henchmen are brought in by Russell Howard's panicky Youth Club Superintendent to protect the city from David Prowse' corrupt city official, and his returning band of Welsh hoodlums. As this is a riff on The Magnificent Seven, which is itself based on The Seven Samurai, it either requires a bold, novel and zeitgeist-defining interpretation of the story or something pseudo-intellectual masquerading as genius.

Enter Banksy as director. We'll get Clint Eastwood on standby though. Just in case.

Smooth Virility

Director: Oliver Parker
Supporting Cast: Mark Heap, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Williams

Clive Owen is enfant terrible history scholar, Clarke Patter. He has just won a teaching position at the prestigious Caxford University, England, where he will be working with another historian who has the same name as him, the two being differentiated by their opposing preferences for flavour of coffee granules (hence, 'Smooth' Patter). 

Unbeknownst to him (this phrase will also be the literal translation of the German title), the smooth coffee granules are making him so masculine and potent that nearly every student on the course finds him impossibly attractive, leading him to resist the temptations thrust at him and work on a cure with the science department, where he will meet the lovely Doctor Phelps. This erotic comedy will eventually popularise the term Eromedy.

I am aware this is utterly terrible, and that no sane person would ever want to see it. Thus it is probably the most likely of these suggestions to ever be turned into a film, which will be universally panned, and make approximately three times its budget at the box office. Remember this generalisation: terrible romantic comedies can survive critical maulings.

John Carter fans take note. What the film obviously lacked was Katherine Heigl falling in love with a total dickhead.

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