Boris Johnson's 'Mission to Assyria' Film Script Was Rejected by a "Very Distinguished Director"
"I saw an advertisement on a bus for a film called 'The Monuments Men' and I thought, 'damn, that's probably my idea'"
Published Oct 08, 2019U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was apparently an aspiring screenwriter before he became a figurehead for the Brexit movement.
The Evening Standard revealed last week that he had written a script for a film titled Mission to Assyria in 2015, and BoJo has now confirmed that he did indeed pen the screenplay.
"I did send it to a very distinguished director, and I'm embarrassed to say that I had no answer back," he told the Standard. "I was so crestfallen that I didn't pursue it."
The Standard also suggested that Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) was the uninterested director, though that has not been confirmed by Hooper or Johnson.
The original report detailed Johnson's "hilariously awful" pitch for the film.
In said pitch, Johnson claimed that the film was inspired by his "rage and disbelief at the destruction of places like Hatra and Nimrud and Nineveh" by the Islamic State. "I cannot abide the apathy of the west," he added.
He went on to describe the film as a "glorious wish-fulfillment dream movie, a mixture of Golan-Globus and Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Johnson's pitch suggested opening with "a sickening montage of atrocities" like beheadings, rapes, torchings and the destruction of monuments.
He even went as far as to suggest casting ideas, asking for an "old Clooney/Connery/Eastwood type geezer in his fifties" to play the lead role of Special Air Service vet Marmaduke Montmorency Burton, while Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson would be ideal for the "gorgeous yet scholarly" female archaeologist role.
"I think it was meant to be Harrison Ford," Johnson added this week. "But the trouble was I wrote it and then, much to my dismay, I saw an advertisement on a bus for a film called The Monuments Men and I thought, 'damn, that's probably my idea'."
Unfortunately for Johnson (but fortunately for the rest of the film-enjoying population of the world), that was pretty much the case. The 2014 film The Monuments Men followed a group of men trying to recover works of art that were believed to be destroyed during Nazi control — starring the actual Clooney alongside Matt Damon and Bill Murray.