Just before going to the Cannes Film Festival last year I had an idea for a feature film. It grew out of an idea for a short film.
My father was Quentin Crisp’s agent. He used to be a regular houseguest as I grew up. He didn’t seem odd to me. Children don’t judge adults – they use each person they meet as further information about the different ways adults can be. I thought I could make a little film on this subject. John Hurt’s portrayal in the film of Quentin’s autobiography made both men famous. I realised that John Hurt is now the same age as Quentin was when the film was made. I was tickled by the idea of John reprising the role that made him famous (although he was well-known to some for films that he has already made) in a little short.
A few days after having this idea, I was having a meal with the man who introduced Quentin to my father back in the 1960s. As I was pitching this idea to him, I realised that I could make more than just a short – we could make a sequel to The Naked Civil Servant. Quentin died in 1999. He left the rights of his literary works to my father. That means I can control the rights to any works based on his books. He wrote a sequel to The Naked Civil Servant and other books.
This kind of talk went down well in Cannes, amongst other conversations, and I’ve been thinking how best to adapt his works since then. My father tells me that a screenwriter has got in touch. Brian Fillis is a writer with a pretty good track record – people want to work with him. He’s got Leopard Drama interested making a film about Quentin: An Englishman in New York.
We’ll meet in a couple of weeks, I think as someone who has control over some of the rights required to get a film made, I might be able to negotiate a credit of Co-executive Producer.