Actor Dominic Cooper and the producers of a new Ian Fleming biopic have warned James Bond fans their portrayal of the author will be "sexed up" when it airs next year (14). The Mamma Mia! actor will star as the creator of the world's most famous spy in Sky Atlantic's biopic series Fleming, opposite Lara Pulver, who will play his wife Ann.
Cooper has warned that the writers have taken "huge liberties" in retelling Fleming's wartime heroics, choosing to highlight the more sensational accounts of his bravery during World War II.
He tells Britain's The Times newspaper, "There's what he says he did, there's what his biographers say he did, and then there's what we say he did."
Later episodes of the four-part series show the author firing a machine gun at enemy troops and fighting hand-to-hand with German soldiers, but it is thought Fleming only had limited battlefield experience and spent much of his time behind a desk.
The show's director Mat Whitecross, who previously worked on The Road To Guantanamo, says everything depicted in the show is based on fact to some degree, but concedes they have embellished the author's life.
He says, "Everything is based on something real, but we have sexed it up at times. If you look at other versions of the biography, he is deskbound, but that doesn't make great drama. He didn't have any fisticuffs with Nazis, but it felt like it would be better if he did."
Fleming is scheduled to air on Sky Atlantic in February (14).
"I've been watching a lot of short films lately - because I'm a judge on the panel of Virgin Media Shorts, alongside the likes of directors Paul Greengrass and Mat Whitecross." Veteran actor John Hurt has turned talent judge for an online movie contest in Britain.
Mat Whitecross screened a copy of the film, in which Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis portrays the late Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick singer, for Hollywood executives at the Sundance film festival in Utah in January (10) - and he was stunned when they presumed Dury was a fictional character.
Now premiering the much-anticipated biopic at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Whitecross tells WENN, "I met with some people who'd seen the film, and I didn't really understand the gist of the conversation. Their questions didn't make any sense.
"They kept asking me, 'Who wrote the music?' After a while I realised, 'They don't know it's a real person'."
But Whitecross is still confident the subject matter will appeal to movie fans, even if they've never heard of Dury, adding, "It didn't matter to them (the movie bosses) that they'd never heard of Ian. They found the story engaging."
Penelope Cruz walked away with the Best Actress title at the European Film Awards in Warsaw, Poland, last night, winning over judges with her performance in Spanish film Volver.
The Pedro Almodovar-directed comedy drama took home five awards, including Best Director and Best Cinematography, but lost out to German movie The Lives of Others in the Best Film category.
The Florian Henckel Von Donnermarck movie, about East Germany's secret police, also beat British director Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley, The Road to Guantanamo by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto, and Grbavica by Bosnia's Jasmila Zbanic to the coveted award.
Filmmaker Roman Polanski was honored with the Lifetime Achievement prize. Returning to his native country to accept the award, he insisted "only good things" happened to him in Warsaw.
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