Kapur to don Minghella mantle
by Naman Ramachandran
26/03/2008 - Shekhar Kapur, the Golden Globe nominated director of films such as Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age [trailer], is all set complete one of late British director Anthony Minghella’s unfinished projects.
Minghella had completed writing his segment of portmanteau film New York, I Love You. The film, which was due to start shooting in April, was yet to be cast at the time of Minghella’s death.
Apparently Minghella had requested Kapur to continue his work before he went into surgery. In a recent blog entry Kapur wrote, “He told me his film was about the value of life and how people sometimes just throw away their lives, unable to look beyond into the real beauty of it. I will direct the film now – with Anthony in my heart and in presence of his soul.”
It is not clear about the fate of other Minghella projects like the Weinstein Company’s The Ninth Life of Louis Drax and Miramax’s The Resurrectionist.
Meanwhile, Minghella’s final completed project, the television pilot of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency premiered Easter Monday on BBC1, as per schedule and with the consent of his family. The broadcast drew a whopping 6.3 million viewers across the UK, accounting for 27% of audience share.
Due to Minghella’s death, the fate of the remaining 13 episodes, as yet not filmed, remains uncertain. Richard Curtis co-wrote the 105-minute pilot with Minghella, based on Alexander McCall Smith’s bestselling books. The series deals with Precious Ramotswe (played by singer Jill Scott), who opens Botswana’s first ladies detective agency following her father’s demise.
The Weinstein Company, Mirage Enterprises and Film Afrika Worldwide, with the BBC and HBO broadcasting in the UK and US respectively, produced the pilot.