Red Riding Trilogy: Tony Grisoni Interview Part Three

Red Riding is a trilogy of movies based on a quartet of novels by David Peace. The books (and films) are fictionalized accounts of the investigation into the Yorkshire Ripper, a brutal serial killer that stalked the Yorkshire area of England in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Screen Rant was present at the launch of the films in London and interviewed writer Tony Grisoni (Tideland and Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas) along with various other UK bloggers.

Check out the third and final installment of this Screen Rant Interview with Tony Grisoni below (if you missed part one, you can find it here and if you need to catch up on part two you can find it here).

Most people in the UK know David Peace from The Damned United which became an unlikely bestseller. Was this all green lit before that success?

Oh yeah-I'm not sure if it was green lit but I was working on it before Damned United yeah.It has the same approach where he takes a real character, sort of fictionalizes it in order to get to the higher truth. That's the plan isn't it? I trot that one out about the bigger truth. I think it makes sense.

How long where you on the project?

Three years. Three years of hell. It started in early 2006 until they locked off a cut.

That's a long time.

Yeah but the other thing is - here's a sort of catharsis to it - it's fiction. That's the whole point of that kind of fiction - it is cathartic. I remember reading the novels and I found it really liberating and writing the screenplays was just a joy.

Did you seek out the job of trying to adapt the books or did somebody knock at your door and offer you the job?

Somebody phoned me. Andrew Eaton from Revolution Films made me an offer I couldn't refuse. The thing is; I knew Andrew because I'd worked with Michael Winterbottom on In This World, a film about two Afghani boys being smuggled overland, and working on that film was one of the best filmmaking experiences I've had. It was so good that having the film was like a bonus. Working with that particular crew, in that particular place at that particular time was something else. That's a good memory. The whole thing about Revolution Films is that if they make a call you know it is going to be a challenge. The chances are you are going to be asked to do something you don't think you can really do or you are scared of doing. Go to Afghanistan, adapt four novels into four films inside a year and a half- that kind of thing. So you know it's going to be exciting.

Will these three films be released in cinemas in the US and around the World?

There are plans. Things are being looked into. It'd be interesting wouldn't it? I'd be really interested to see how the States take them. It feels to me, and I'd only be second guessing and I'll only be optimistic, but I think they could really do well in the States. They've got a feel to them - something that Americans adopt. They owe a lot to film noir and they owe a lot to American detective movies of the ‘40s and ‘50s.

It reminded me a lot of Zodiac because of the density of it.

Yeah. I agree. It will be very interesting to see how it does.

There's also some big names again.

Yeah, I'm going to start mentioning names again and I promised that I wouldn't.

What are you going to be doing next - a holiday?

No chance of a holiday! I've just finished worked on a really extraordinary film that is a first Film directed by Sam Mortimer in Nottingham - which concerns a little girl who is in care and that was quite an experience. We wrapped that film just before Christmas. Also last year I directed a film I wrote which was a 20 minute short which is set in the Kurdish community in North London where I live. So right now I'm writing the feature version of that and I'm helping Terry Gilliam put Don Quixote back in the saddle - for my sins.

What are they going to do with the film that never was?

Put it on the DVD extras. There's only 5 days shooting.

They're starting from scratch basically?


Is it really looking like it will go ahead this time? It's been on the boil for a long time.

Absolutely. 100% (makes a funny face). There's nothing else could have happened on that shoot. We ran out of things. The terrible thing was that in the script it opens with these people shooting a commercial which is a parody of Quixote and there's a storm and it's washed out. Then we started shooting and guess what?

Those are the two things I'm doing Quixote and Kingsland - which is the story of the Kurdish community.

How do you balance writing so many things at one time?

I don't do anything else - I don't have a life or anything. I just write. I think what happens is one is usually in the forefront and your'e keeping the other one ticking over until you've got to a particular stage with one. Either people are reading it or you let it sit there for a bit and get on with the other one.

It's not real writing. Novelists - that's real writing. What I do is what you do when you're a kid - its just make believe. That's why it's such fun for me. You only need a vocabulary of about fifty anyway, anymore than that and no one's going to read it.


And that's the end of our interview with Tony Grisoni about his upcoming trilogy Red Riding. I hope you've enjoyed it!

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