James Farwell Projects - In Development
Written by JAMES P. FARWELL
Film Projects* to be produced by
Carol Bidault de l'Isle, Chandu Shah
Jerry Daigle, Frank Hart
*Projects have 60 - 80% financing in place
1. Crescent City
2. The Adventurers
3. The King Maker
4. Mona Lisa
6. Brilliant Feminine
1. A Conspiracy of Princes
2. A Conspiracy of Kings
3. The Pakistan Cauldron - Conspiracy, Assassination and Instability
4. Raffles: The Duke of Wellington’s Legend
5. Deception in Florence / Deception in Paris
1. Legal Insanity
2. The Fabulist
1. Crescent City:
An edgy dramatic thriller about family, class and power set in New Orleans against the background of the state’s thoroughbred race horse and casino industries. It is a story about the choices we make, and the values that drive the characters as they confront murder, mystery, betrayal, duplicity, greed and the emotional conflicts sparked by questions of loyalty, personal integrity, and ethics. Most movies about New Orleans focus on the French Quarter, Mardi Gras, the music culture, and race relations. Written by a New Orleans insider, this screenplay illuminates a hidden Crescent City. It takes us inside the closed precincts of uptown New Orleans and its attitudes towards outsiders who challenge its standing and power.
2. The Adventurers:
A romantic action adventure based upon the true story of William Tate, an American adventurer who fought in the American Revolution and later fled to France after he tried to ignite an uprising against the new republic. In Paris he bragged about his exploits. The French believed him and forced him to take command of an expeditionary army sent in February 1797 to invade England and incite a revolution against King George III. Tate is forced to live up to his misbegotten reputation as a hero, while his aristocratic executive, Pierre St. Armant, must reconcile conflicting loyalties. The story is a testament to the adage that truth is stranger – much stranger – than fiction. The film is witty, a romantic love story, action-packed, and animated by tensions driven by a clash of cultures. Above all, it tells the story of two adventurers who come together and realize that success lies less in what you achieve than the perception of what you do by those who judge the results.
3. The King Maker:
A screwball romantic comedy set in South America about overcoming ethnic prejudice. Consultant-turned-movie director Matt Thomas hires himself out to a junta that has called elections. Challenging them is a former guerilla group led by the notorious El Chacal, a savvy leader motivated by environmental concerns and the conviction that multi-national corporations are ruining his country. At first Matt treats the people down south as superficial rubes. He discovers that individuals whom he too easily had stereotyped – both the junta members and Chacal’s followers -- are complex, idealistic, and far different from what he had falsely presumed. Indeed, he learns that the least sophisticated person is himself. Matters grow complicated as Matt falls in love with Chacal’s sister, Isabel, and winds up doing both sides of the election. While poking fun at political ads, this is at heart a comedy and a love story, powered by a strong environmental theme. Matt’s experience opens his eyes to the robust experience of a foreign culture and the sensibility of its people who feel passionately about protecting their land from corporate exploitation.
4. Raffles and Raffles Returns (Feature and series):
The legendary Lord A.J. Raffles, as iconic in British literature as James Bond, joins forces with Scotland Yard and the FBI to derail a nefarious scheme by Russian President Yuri Titov to get his hands on an original Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. It turns out that more than one exists. Indeed, there are five.
Lord A.J. Raffles and Bunny Manders are public domain characters, based on the classic characters created during Edwardian times by E.J. Hornung – the brother-in-law of Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. The characters have been so popular that they have given rise to feature films starring David Niven, John Barrymore, Ronald Coleman, Nigel Havers (a major West End star) and others. Niven's was the last film, produced in 1939. There have been plays. These include Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman, which opened at the Savoy Theater in London in 1903. A 1905 play, The Burglar and the Lady, pitted Raffles -- in Hornung's original, a gentleman jewel thief aided by Bunny Manders -- against Sherlock Holmes. Various works have featured all three characters.
The characters have been so popular that they have given rise to feature films starring David Niven, John Barrymore, Ronald Coleman, Nigel Havers (a major West End star) and others. Niven's was the last film, produced in 1939.
There have been plays. These include Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman, which opened at the Savoy Theater in London in 1903. A 1905 play, The Burglar and the Lady, pitted Raffles -- in Hornung's original, a gentleman jewel thief aided by Bunny Manders -- against Sherlock Holmes. Various works have featured all three characters.
In the romantic comedy Raffles Returns, the legend holds that the Duke of Wellington had stashed a cache of 18th century wine in the residence of the British Ambassador in Paris. When the roguish Ambassador Jenkins discovers that the legend is true, he decides to hijack the wine – worth a hundred million dollars – and its authenticity comes into question. Raffles and FBI agent Nicole Palmer are called in to investigate and unravel conspiracy and fraud.
5. Counter-Intelligence - A Comedy:
Romance, dancing and bombs mark this screwball romantic comedy about sibling rivalry set in India. Aimed at a western audience, it draws upon Bollywood motifs and features music by Academy Award winning composer A.R. Rahman.
6. Brilliant Feminine:
A romantic comedy about the inter-relationships of three powerful, strong-willed women and Jonathan Smythe, a tech entrepreneur whose brilliance in business is offset by his awkwardness in relating to women. He relates well to women as peers, but not in romantic relationships. He finds he has a lot to learn, as each of the three women – his best friend and art-dealer Tess; high-powered attorney Kristin; and an educator, Sarah -- open his eyes to what it means to love and be loved. The story poses penetrating questions about love: does the ability to sense what women want provide equal insight into men? Can you fall in love with a person while recognizing that a long-term relationship will fail? Does meeting your mirror image forge a loving bond or give rise to fatal narcissism? What is the bond that provides a foundation for two people on which to build a life together?
1. A Conspiracy of Princes:
Journalist Bob Stuart won the Pulitzer Prize for covering the death of the world’s most notorious terrorist, Ali Kallis, in Yemen, at the hands of U.S. Special Forces. These days his career is drifting and he feels at a loss. He yearns for a second shining moment in the sun. The redeeming feature in his life is his burgeoning love for Nicole Bremont, an eminent Sorbonne lecturer. Arriving fifteen minutes early at Café Deux Magots in Paris to meet her, his heart sinks as he bears witness to her kissing another man good-bye. More shocking is the identity of the man: Ali Kallis. From this explosive beginning follows a taut, suspenseful thriller as Stuart struggles to unravel the mystery of how Kallis is alive and what mischief he’s up to. Set in Paris, it is a tale of jealousy, intrigue, double and triple cross. It is non-stop action, powered by unpredictable twists and turns, from that opening to its unexpected climax. Author James Farwell is an internationally respected expert and Special Operations advisor on information warfare and terrorism.
2. A Conspiracy of Kings:
A sequel to Conspiracy of Princes, this stand alone story takes place in the same world, although only the character of President Joe Jackson appears in both stories. Set in Washington, A Conspiracy of Kings presents a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, as retired Air Force officer Colonel Christopher Drake and Louisiana Congresswoman Deb Spencer unravel the nation’s darkest, most dangerous secret in an effort to head off a third world war. The story takes us inside the hidden corridors of Washington power with an edge-of-the-seat thriller that keeps you guessing until the last moment.
Author Farwell has a background as an international political consultant and has advised 7 candidates for President and a Prime Minister, at home and abroad.
3. The Pakistan Cauldron - Conspiracy, Assassination and Instability:
This highly acclaimed non-fictional account of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s ill-fated return to Pakistan to stand again for Prime Minister, and her assassination, is the story of one of the 20th century’s most remarkable women. Born to wealth in one of Pakistan’s two ruling dynasties, she became a unique voice for religious tolerance and democratic pluralism. At Harvard, she was celebrated for her rebellious tendency. At Oxford, she became the first woman elected to head the prestigious Oxford Union – the university’s storied debating society. She left the London scene and returned to Pakistan when her father, Ali Bhutto, seized power in 1973. In 1977, the military ousted and hanged him, and sent Benazir to prison. Only U.S. intervention saved her life. The story of how she overcome towering obstacles to emerge as the nation’s first female prime minister is a story tailored for today’s times, when women are emerging on the world stage as preeminent leaders.
See her interview on her father’s execution: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=benazir+bhutto+interview+on+her+father%27s+execution. The role speaks for itself. The book can easily be turned into a screenplay for a cable television movie.
4. Raffles - The Duke of Wellington’s Legend:
The screenplay Raffles Returns is based upon this novel of the iconic character. (see Screenplays above)
5. Deception in Florence / Deception in Paris (Sequel):
In DECEPTION IN FLORENCE, set in 1936, we meet art dealer Rene Duplas and his niece, Francoise. Duplas is fretting over the death of his best client, the iconic artist Thomas Kyd. His gallery is facing bankruptcy, which makes him desperate. He and his partner devise a scheme to locate an impostor whom they can palm off as Kyd. In Florence, Duplas comes across another desperate man, Jack Reilly, a struggling artist whom an Italian aristocrat and Mussolini foe, the Countess Mirella Vittoria, has induced to help produce anti-Duce propaganda. His entanglement with Mirella puts his life at risk when her plans to assassinate Mussolini go awry. Mussolini escapes although Reilly wounds his high-ranking Nazi visitor and Hitler emissary, Otto von Bruhl. In fleeing Italy, Duplas, who is able to facilitate Reilly's flight, offers him a devil's bargain: impersonate Thomas Kyd and become rich, or he will leave Reilly to his own devices, which means certain doom. Reilly is aghast by the prospect of participating in a fraudulent scheme. But, fiercely anti-fascist and anti-Nazi, he wants to strike a blow against the forces of darkness. He reluctantly agrees to join Duplas’ scheme.
DECEPTION IN PARIS takes up a few weeks after the conclusion of the first book. Duplas arranges for Reilly to be trained to paint like Kyd. The project seems at first to be successful, but a jealous art dealer, Dimitri Ulysinov, begins asking questions that cast doubt on Reilly's authenticity. At the same time, the Nazi Otto von Bruhl has arrived in Paris to take up station as Hitler's new Ambassador. His mission is to lull the French to sleep and to preside over the assassination of Charles de Gaulle, the one French military officer who saw through Hitler's schemes. Stung by the assassination attempt, Mussolini sends a trusted operative, Olympic athlete Alessandra Passara, to Paris to track down Mirella and kill her. Cross-cutting romantic relationships, intrigue, betrayal and surprise mark the schemes and counter-schemes as Reilly fights to stop von Bruhl and deal with his relationships with Francoise, Mirella, and Alessandra. Thematically, a story about love conquering the forces of darkness, it raises questions of the nature of authenticity.
6. Additional books:
Mr. Farwell has also authored five additional non-fiction books, each of which has earned high critical acclaim:
* Persuasion & Power (Washington: Georgetown U. Press, 2012), about the use of strategic communication from the days of Julius Caesar to the present;
* Communication Strategy (co-author: Darby Arakelian) (Tampa: Joint Special Operations University, 2015), about the use of strategic communication by the military;
* Revitalizing Cities (co-authors: P. Kabacoff, T. Leonhard, E. Boettner) (Lafayette: U. of Lafayette Press, 2016), about place management, revitalization of historic neighborhoods, and the role of HRI Properties in leading a national revolution in urban planning;
* The Legal Architecture of Cybersecurity (Lafayette: U. of Lafayette Press, 2017), about the legal rules that govern cyber-security;
* Information Warfare (forthcoming) (Quantico: Marine Corps University Press, 2019), about how to forge and execute winning strategies, operations, and tactics in information warfare in the new threat horizon.
1. Legal Insanity:
This is a classic romantic screwball comedy set in New York in 1935, to be produced in England by Tony-Award winning producer Steven Levy. The play pits an estranged Judge Katherine Kelly and her movie star husband, Randall, against one another in a battle of wits as Katherine is advised that her husband has hired a hit man to kill her. Invoking the legal doctrine of "Flagrant Necessity" (a real legal doctrine: in a case of urgency, it renders lawful an otherwise illegal act to protect oneself), she is determined to kill him before he kills her. They wind up hiring the same hit man. As absurdity piles upon comic absurdity, the two lovers find that justice more often means just desserts. The play is fully capitalized and is ready to go into production for the stage.
2. The Fabulist:
Likely to open at the end of this year or early 2020 at the Charing Cross Theatre in London, this hybrid romantic-comedy employs magic devised by the legendary John Racherbaumer and music by Giovanni Paisiello. The story centers on the theme of whether love is possible and if so, how one would recognize it as authentic. The story takes place in a movie studio in Tuscany in 1929. Farwell wrote the play and the libretto. It is based on The Imaginary Astrologer, a short opera by Paisiello written for Catherine the Great and updated to make the characters and story relatable to a modern audience. Tony-award winning producer Steven Levy is producing this play, which is fully capitalized. Paisiello's highly accessible music is a cross between Rossini, whom he greatly influenced, and Andrew Lloyd Weber.