Ian McKellen E-Posts

"I am at your service.
What is it I can tell you?"

17 May 2006

ADAPTATION

From: Yves Torres

Q: I'm a perfectionist when it comes to movie adaptions, thats why I wanted to ask you if the plot is going to be changed to fit the adaption better? Or is the plot going to remain unchanged? What do you mean by more action, is Robert Langdon going to be turned into a new Indiana Jones?

A: Have no fears. Akiva Goldsman's screenplay closely follows the novel's story.  As for film adaptations in general, can I modestly recommend my musings in the introduction to Richard III available for free on this site?

CONTROVERSY

Q: I saw an interview with the president of the Catholic League stating that if Ron Howard did not put a disclaimer before The Da Vinci Code the Catholic League would take action. Do you know if Ron Howard or Sony Pictures intend to put a disclaimer before the film?

A: Before telling storytellers to extrapolate fact from fiction, and disentangle them from myth, perhaps the League should examine its own literary source ("Holy"' or not) which is a right old mix of history, imagination, poetry, metaphor and prophesy.  Room for a disclaimer there perhaps.

TEABING

From: Mimi, Thailand

Q:  i'm thirteen and a fan of both your works... (X Men and LOTR,, love 'em) and i've read the Da Vinci Code and was thrilled when i heard that you were going to play Sir Leigh Teabing... do you have to dye your hair into red for the role?? and is it hard walking in crutches??

A: Even after my hair has turned grey there are thin streaks of red left in it from my father's side of the family.  Teabing would be a little freakish to have a full head of hair at our age, of whatever colour.  Such phenomena are limited to politicians and ageing rockstars rather than academics like Teabing.  Whilst the audience was wondering why or whether he dyed his hair, they might well be distracted from the intricacies of his part of the plot.  So the initial, almost throwaway, description of Teabing by Dan Brown (whose own hair has a red strain running through the gold) was ignored and I hope no offence is taken.  There was none from Mr Brown when he visited the set during filming at Shepperton Film Studios north of London.  We replaced Teabing's crutches with sticks which I kept after shooting was over.

For more about The Da Vinci Code be sure to read

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The Da Vinci Code opened worldwide in May 2006