Richard Branson the film
The life and times of Richard Branson, the man who founded the huge company that is Virgin, is going to be made into a film from his own autobiography. Losing My Virginity (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) and is already giving interviews to the production for the film.
It's a pretty amazing story where one man started a business selling records through mail order, expanding to some record stores in 1972. Virgin Records became Virgin Megastores, Virgin Cinemas, Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, Virgin Media, Virgin Comics, Virgin Media, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Produced, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Trains, even Virgin Galactic, and that's not touching on his many charity and record breaking attempts.
David Mirkin is the man tasked with writing the film from Branson's interviews and his book, a man who has so far written nothing but comedy. From television shows such as Three's Company and Newhart, through to The Simpsons and his only script in film, co-writing credit for The Simpsons Movie. That said he's directed Romy and Michele's High School Reunion and Heartbreakers.
It seems a strange choice, unless that is the film is going to be a comedy with Richard Branson's story at the core, but there's not much to indicate what direction the film will take in the Variety story.
His life is a hell of a story, but as a comedy I can't really see the business end of his life really coming to the fore, and that seems a shame for there are some epic stories in there, not least the battle he led Virgin Atlantic through with British Airways, or the starting up of Virgin Galactic. Instead we're likely to see a comedy and for me that seems to fit very nicely in the real early days of the empire, before even Virgin Megastores were mega, before they were even a few stores.
Is this the Richard Branson film that you would want to see? A comedy about his early days, a light hearted The Social Network (Filmstalker review)?
Personally I would prefer to see a more serious film that tells the story of some of the highs and lows of the bigger decisions and how he expanded with his organisation.
I wonder which way this will finally play out, and which Branson would you like to see in film?