LATEST UPDATE:Citizenfour (scroll to bottom for details)For some reason, a growing number of American movies appear to be drafting in Piers Morgan to appear in small roles as a news reader/interviewer/general irritant. For those of us who really like movies, Morgan’s presence in them has not yet been a welcome one, and we’ve now heard that he’s recorded a scene or two for the upcoming Entourage film.
This article then is intended as a work of public service, and we’ll keep it up to date with Morgan’s appearances in film, should people continue to indulge him. So: here are the films to date that Morgan has appeared in, and the specific moments you need to skip if you want your viewing experience to be Morgan-free….
WORLD WAR Z
Bit you need to fast forward through: 0.02.14 – 0.02.16
The most lucrative zombie movie of all time, World War Z overcame a lot of negative publicity in the run up to its release, before promptly helping itself to over $500m at the worldwide box office.
You need to be alert to the Morgan moment though, as it hits you very early on. Furthermore, even when his face disappears off the screen, his voice continues for another second, so don’t be complacent. Morgan plays the role here as presenter of the much-missed CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight. We feel for Marco Beltrami, who has done some strong scores across his career, for having his screen credit besmirched by the man.
Morgan’s character issues a grave warning about CO2 emissions, and then disappears for the rest of the film. It’s relevant to the film, but not pivotal. As such, his seconds of screen time are safely skipped.
It’s unclear at this stage whether Morgan’s contracted for the sequel. Stay frosty.
Bit you need to fast forward through: 0.58.54 to 1.01.31
Not a great movie this, but it still has a couple of chuckles to it. Will Ferrell stars as Cam Brady, a long-term congressman expecting his usual re-election. But then a rival, played by Zach Galifianakis, enters the race. The film follows their fight for election, with Jay Roach – who helmed the excellent TV movie Game Change (as well as the Austin Powers trilogy) – directing.
The Morgan moment (actually closer to three moments) sees the former talent show judge cast as presenter of the much-missed CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight. He interviews Ferrell’s Cam Brady, taking on the persona of a serious interviewer. The running gag is that Morgan has to pretend to be annoyed at the product placement going on in front of him. It’s not a very funny gag, and nothing that couldn’t be beaten by getting a loved one to tickle you for a few seconds.
Do note: Morgan’s scene goes on for a bit, unfortunately. More fortunately, it is entirely skippable, with no damage to the end film.
Bits you need to fast forward through: 0.57.14 – 0.57.16 and 1.22.30 – 1.22.48
Stay strong: he appears in this one twice. In Robert Zemeckis’ Flight – a film that we like an awful lot – Piers Morgan takes on a small role as presenter of the much-missed CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight.
The first sighting of him is in a bar scene just before the half way point of the movie. We’ve never been in a bar in real life that has a news channel playing in the background (sports news yes, main news no), but movies tend to like that sort of thing. Hence, in the background is a television, and on that television is the face of Piers Morgan. On the plus side, you can barely hear him, although he’s talking about Denzel Washington’s character in the film. If you squint your eye in the right way, you can cut out the part of the screen that Morgan appears in.
But just when you’ve avoided him once, he pops up just over 20 minutes later, and Zemeckis makes the squint approach harder by zooming closer to the TV screen this time. Morgan reprises the same role here, as the presenter of the much-missed CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight, and his voice is a little more audible in this short segment. In fact, you hear his voice before you see him (Zemeckis has long been an underrated proponent of horror cinema techniques), and he delivers an update on the investigation into the plane crash in Flight.
You can skip both Morgan appearances with no damage to the end film. Just remember not to relax after you’ve missed him the first time.
Bits you need to fast forward through: 1.26.29 – 1.26.32, 1.27.34 – 1.27.35, 1.27.52 – 1.28.00, 1.29.32 – 1.29.33 and 1.29.41 – 1.33.08
One Chance is, to date, the only film that Piers Morgan appears in where it’s pretty much impossible to avoid him, and leave the film in tact. So if you want to watch director David Frankel’s telling of Paul Potts’ story, starring James Corden, you do so firmly at your own risk.
In the film, Piers Morgan takes on a small role as the judge on a television talent contest, providing valuable insights into who can sing and who can’t. He appears in archive footage in the film’s big third act audition scene. After a couple of quick shots in passing, we see him involved in judging someone’s talent. He seems to indicate that the person in question has very little. The person in question is humiliated on national television. Chortles ensue.
When it comes to the audtion moment itself, we see at first that Morgan is unimpressed. Throughout the course of the audtion, he then looks more impressed, before finally looking very impressed. Amanda Holden cries.
Mr Morgan then has lines. He tells Paul Potts that he is one of the favourites to win Britain’s Got Talent. Spoiler: He says “absolutely yes” when asked if Potts should progress to the next round of the televised talent show in question.
As compensation for prolonged Morgan exposure, Colm Meaney hits someone in the next scene. But we must still reiterate: it’s virtually impossible to skip the Morgan moments here, and get the full benefit of the film’s ending. What a sombre note to end on.
The one-time presenter of the much-missed CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight, can be heard in the superb documentary, Citizenfour. It’s footage of his aforementioned show in the context of the Oscar-nominated documentary, so isn’t Morgan straying into acting territory. And the film really is outstanding.
This article will be updated with further movie sightings of Piers Morgan as and when we encounter them.
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