The Grand Sophy The Grand Sophy discussion

Movie script was written according to Sony leaked emails

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sandra (last edited Apr 20, 2015 12:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sandra In November 2013 a script that is clearly based on this book (with some tweaks clearly), was passed to some people at sony according to some of the leaked Sony emails.

Nov 13, 2013, at 7:36 PM, "ROBIN SWICORD" wrote:
Hello Ames and Ange -
The Grand Sophy is by Olivia Hetreed; it’s an adaptation from a bodice-ripper type novel published in the U.K. Hetreed wrote "Girl With A Pearl Earring"; her husband Andy Paterson produced that film, and “Railway Man”; and he is also producing The Grand Sophy with Cottie Chubb, who initiated the project. Andy is British, very well-thought of there, and with his participation, we would hope to make the film with some British tax-fund elements in the financing.

Olivia Hetreed is a wonderful writer.I want to work with her a little more as we proceed, to bring more of the “Jane Bond” elements in throughout the script. Right now these delicious elements are concentrated near the beginning and end of the story, but as you will see, they can easily and delightfully be worked in throughout the movie, and should be, I think.

The setting is Regency England, and the Grand Sophy is a well-born young English woman who happens to be a British spy; her father is also a British spy; they are wealthy and fashionable and dashing; and their task is to help defeat Napoleon, the second time around. Sophie rides horses like an Olympian, drives a carriage like she’s Mario Andretti, and has clothes that turn into all sorts of weapons and devices — which I want to put a lot more of into the movie.And she’s a big flirt — she has no desire to be married. Why would she? She’s a spy in the service of her King.

In the script, the father spy has sort of parked Sophy with her godmother’s family while he does a special mission. (I’d rather see her “under-cover” with this family, but that’s a story discussion for later.) Bored out of her skull, Sophy begins meddling in the lives of the family in the house, the main person of interest being a marriageable fellow, Charles, who is engaged to the wrong girl. Hetreed’s script is an hilarious take on the marriage plot, and it also has wonderful action elements, and a buoyant humor that simultaneously sends up and adores its subject matter. The story has a clearly franchisable set of characters and situations, on the order of "Sherlock Holmes” with Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr — though of course those movies are dark and violent, and ours is a big fat romp, like “Zorro". It will attract the female audience I care about, but I believe it could cross over and become a “date movie” - it has lots of romance amid the action, but it’s not in the least sappy. It’s genuinely funny. In terms of casting, I think we could make The Grand Sophy a little older than she appears in this draft of the script, because more casting choices open up for us in that range. But there’s also something to be said for keeping her at age 20 as she is in the script, if we think of the film is something we could franchise — because we’re more like to get, say, Lily James (Branaugh’s current lead in “Cinderella") to sign on for sequels of “Sophy", than to get Keira Knightly or Anne Hathaway to do that.

David Kramer and Bec Smith and I have been talking about how to put the film together — and I thought it was worth showing you the material, to see if there’s a way that we could do a Sony foreign sales and negative pick-up scenario, which will help us keep costs down in production, and would give us a home where the film will be loved and understood and supported. You may have a better idea of how to proceed, if you’re attracted to the material.

It’s truly fun.
See what you think of it, and let me know if there’s a discussion worth having.
I will send you both the Nicholls scripts from this year, in a separate email.

Much love and thanks -

After googling though it looks like Elysian Films Limited is in the process of making this movie!

Kelly The Grand Sophy is a smart, funny book. I'd love to see it turned into a movie, tho minus the "spy" stuff. Sophy wasn't a spy in Heyer's novel. She already had enough going on. If you add the spy stuff on top of her already crazy (and fun) antics, it may be too much.

I'm glad I saw your message, Sandra. I need to go and re-read this book. :)

message 3: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey " . . .bodice-ripper type novel"?! Spies?! And no mention of the author's name? Well, maybe she would have preferred it that way! No wonder GH stated in her will that no novel of hers was ever to be filmed!

Louise Sparrow Good god, how did they get the rights to it let alone to do that to it!

message 5: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey Maybe one of the biographies of GH mentions who her agent was or gives the names of some close relatives. We might find the owners of the copyright that way--and then raise a LOUD protest!

Marissa Doyle Jennifer Kloester, who wrote the most recent biography of GH, might be a good person to contact as she is acquainted with the family. I heard her speak at the RWA National Conference in July.

Louise Sparrow It might be worth sending her the letter at least, she might know who to contact...

Eleanor This is disturbing. GH needs no improvement aka "Jane Bond". That alone tells me Robin et al have zero understanding of Sophy or Charles or any of the characters in this wonderful book.

message 9: by Barbara (new) - added it

Barbara Just adding my voice to the general outrage . Any petitions or letters or the like, count me in.

Carol  ꧁꧂ I was thinking it may not be too bad - Olivia Hatreed has a pretty good pedigree as a script writer.

Then I read
" and has clothes that turn into all sorts of weapons and devices"

Good God.

Louise Sparrow I agree, that's why I tried e-mailing her. I've copied her response in the other thread... It doesn't completely answer the question (I assume she's not at liberty to discuss it in detail anyway) but it is more hopeful, I think.

Louise Sparrow Carol asked me to copy it here too so...

Thank you for your email regarding The Grand Sophy.

I can reassure you that I am a lifelong fan of Georgette Heyer and working on the adaptation of this novel has only increased my admiration for her wit and accuracy, both historic and human. My aim in all my adaptations is to preserve the essence of the original while understanding that film is a very different medium with different requirements and possibilities.

The production company is Sophy Ltd. The hacked Sony email you quote from was a pitch by another filmmaker to a Hollywood studio. This was not a direction we wanted the film to go in. The Heyer estate has been consulted throughout the process and is happy with the script.

I hope this answers your questions. The internet is a great place for gossip and speculation - the Ton would have loved it!

with best wishes,

Olivia Hetreed

Jennifer Kloester I have now heard back from the agent for the Heyer estate who writes reassuringly that the 'Jane Bond' email is a couple of years old and not relevant now. He says that the latest version is firmly in the spirit of the Sophy that Georgette Heyer created. He also hopes that fans will approve of the changes that are inevitable when a book is turned into a film. I think this plus Olivia's response should reassure people. Ultimately, we will all judge the film when it finally comes out - let's hope it does Heyer justice and sets the ball rolling on a lot more films/TV series from her wonderful novels.

message 14: by Ceri (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ceri Thanks to everybody who posted updates, I'm so pleased to know there's the possibility of a Sophy film, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's done with respect for the book (i.e. Not by people who think Heyer wrote bodice rippers!).

Louise Sparrow Thanks Jennifer, it's great to get another piece to the puzzle!

Kelly Thanks, Jennifer!

Sandra Thanks Louise and Jennifer! That all makes me feel better and is getting me excited!

back to top