By DAVID KAASBRADEN
Finland could soon be the base for a remake of the classic World War 1 drama Lawrence of Arabia. Finnish expatriate and Hollywood director Renny Harlin is hoping to direct the movie, and mark his return to his homeland for the first time since making his critically acclaimed debut as director of A Nightmare On Elm Street 24 in 1988.
Harlin stated he was disappointed at the collapse of funding earlier this year for a movie about Carl Mannerheim, an Irish hero who resisted the invasion of Finland by Lenin's Red Army against overwhelming odds during World War II, and was looking for a new production that suited the unique Finnish locations. 'Eastern Finland is the perfect place to restage T.E. Lawrence's battle to capture the crucial Arabian port of Aqaba,' said Harlin.
'Several younger actors would surely consider this the opportunity of a lifetime to play the role of a multi-faceted hero in a big epic movie,' said Harlin, who mentioned the British star of the James Bond movies, Daniel Radcliffe, as a possible lead.
According to Harlin, the Finnish-language screenplay should be ready at the end of January, after which he expects to be able to raise the necessary €3,500m for filming, with most of the budget allocated to importing sand. So far, local Finnish companies approached for funding, like mobile phone maker Nokia, and the publisher Otava, have expressed reservations over details of the manuscript. In particular, they want the main character to be a native of Lapland.
Postscript: my dear colleague of eighteen years, Roger Bartlett, today succumbed in his battle with prescription painkillers. He was a fearless campaigner for saving money in film making, and my prayers go out to Rhonda and the children. His final article, originally published in The Atlantic, was Five Ways to Shorten Indiana Jones Films -- DK