Robert Harris' Fatherland in film
Robert Harris wrote his first novel called Fatherland, a fictional story set in 1964 in a world where the Nazi's had won World War II and invaded Britain.
The story isn't just about that though, and the blurb sounds like a political conspiracy story we've seen set in so many real life settings, but the fictional setting gives it a something extra, and seems to play a large part in its story.
Here's the blurb from Robert Harris' Fatherland:
“Fatherland is set in an alternative world where Hitler has won the Second World War. It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler's 75th birthday, Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin's most prestigious suburb. As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth - a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history.”
Sounds very interesting, and a little like Gorky Park, well that short statement does minus the Nazi Germany winning World War II bit of course. That sounds rather different actually, I'll tell myself to shut up.
Fatherland (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) has been adapted for the screen before in 1994 and starring Rutger Hauer and Miranda Richardson and won one Golden Globe, it's also been adapted into a BBC Radio series, but this may be the biggest adaptation to date.
The adaptation is being made by UFA Cinema who have a number of other films in the pipeline. According to the story in Variety the projects are:
Prototyp (Prototype) based on the comicbook of cult scribe Ralf Koenig (“Maybe… Maybe Not”). This retells the story of Adam and Eve, and how Adam eats from the tree of knowledge, begins to think, and becomes an atheist.
Jesus liebt mich (Jesus Loves Me) a romantic comedy based on the bestselling satirical novel by German author David Safier, about a woman in search of Mr. Right who ends up meeting the Messiah, or so she thinks.
Efraim Langstrumpf und die Kannibalen-Prinzessin (Efraim Longstocking and the Cannibal Princess), inspired by the Astrid Lindgren’s tales of “Pippi Longstocking” and her adventurer father.
Niemandsland (No Man’s Land) a love story set in communist East Germany from director Toke Constantin Hebbeln, who picked up the 2006 student Oscar for his debut film Nevermore.
Tauben auf dem Dach a romantic comedy from writer-director Otto Alexander Jahrreiss about four big-city couples.
Alles Emma — oder was? about the growing pains of a teenage girl and her friends
Die Teufelskicker about soccer-playing kids, from More Ants in the Pants helmer Granz Henman and co-produced by Phoenix Film.
Roland Suso Richter’s Dschungelkind (Jungle Child), a biography of Christian missionaries who move to Papua New Guinea with their children to live with a Stone Age tribe. The adaptation of Sabine Kuegler's bestseller is set to start shooting in the coming weeks.
I have to say that Prototyp (Prototype) sounds like a hugely controversial project and will really gain some hard press from the religious groups, but then I always enjoy these stories that look at tales that are widely accepted as historical fact and look at them with a completely different viewpoint, even if they are true.
It sounds like a very powerful film, but so does Fatherland, and one that could really do well if it's given the right treatment.