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Hacking Trial: the movie

5 July 2014

We may have had the verdicts and the sentences in the hacking trial, but the biggest question remains unanswered: who’s going to play everyone in the movie?

There’s one clear and obvious frontrunner for the part of Rebekah Brooks: Bonnie Langford. Sadly, however, Ms Langford has heavy panto commitments and cannot be released for filming. So we’ll have to make do with a B-list purveyor of ginge instead – Nicole Kidman, perhaps, or Julianne Moore. (Cate Blanchett might have got a look-in if we’d avoided the temptation to base everything on the hair, but Brooks herself never did so why should we?)

Andy Coulson should be played by Ewan McGregor, though only if he promises not to repeat his God-awful ‘estuary’ accent from The Ghost. Otherwise Martin Freeman wins the role, reprising his good-guy-drawn-slowly-into-crime chops from Fargo.

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Glenn Mulcaire’s breezy Jack-the-lad (hack-the-lad?) persona can be captured by Danny Dyer or Stephen Tompkinson, depending on how low/high we want to position our brow. Unless, that is, we add a few layers of postmodern irony to the thing and ask Steve Coogan to play the role. Just as Alan Bennett is a shoe-in for Stuart Kuttner, so there’s only one man who can do justice to the part of Kelvin MacKenzie: Kelvin MacKenzie. His emotional rendition of ‘reverse ferret!’ (in the scenes depicting Brooks’s and Coulson’s early years at Wapping) has got ‘Oscar’ written all over it even before it’s been filmed.

Rupert Murdoch is tricky (but then we knew that). Old-bloke-whose-genial-demeanour-hides-a-core-of-menace seems tailor-made for Jim Broadbent, but he’s about three-feet too tall, so it’s over to John Bird. Charlie Brooks needs to be posh, so we would go for Alexander Armstrong; however he’s too chiselled and cool to pull off the drinking-a-pint-of-washing-up-liquid-to-get-rid-of-a-hangover scene. Let’s plump for Martin Clunes instead.

Cameos will include Olivia Colman as Rebekah’s loyal and adoring PA Cheryl Carter (remember her performance in 2012?), and Johnny Vegas as Labour MP Tom Watson. The real problem, though, is David Cameron. Try as I might, I cannot think of anyone to play the man. This, surely, is because the role isn’t properly written. No one really knows what David Cameron is all about, what’s at his core. There’s no ‘there’ there. He’s a character without character, and that’s impossible to cast. As soon as Cameron defines himself, we’ll be able to do the same.

Finally, we need a title. Hack to the Future? Glenn Mulcaire Always Rings Twice?

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Show comments
  • paulthorgan

    Don’t be silly.

    Just get the Fast Show team on the job. And Harry, of course.

  • milesfowler

    American comic/impersonator Dana Carvey should play David Cameron. Don’t know about his accent, but a dialog coach might find him a quick study.

  • Pentangelis

    I think the best answer to the question of who should play Tom Watson is a very large turd.

  • Wes Brown

    Nick Frost is Tom Watson.

  • Emily John

    a best work by the Cameron.i love to see it…

    Blackwater Taxis

  • fathomwest

    I cannot wait for the scene in which Rebecca Brooks and David Cameron are riding together.

  • Terence Hale

    “Hacking Trial: the movie”. The Butler did it.

  • swatnan

    The fragrant Rebekah must surely be played by herself. She has a certain screen prescence and aura and is destined for Hollywood, or Pinewood And Coulson, by George Clooney. And Murdoch? none other than Lenny Henry; he did a brilliant Othello some time ago.

  • Tom W Huxley

    No reason why Meryl Streep can’t stretch herself further and play another Prime Minister.

  • Amir

    Check out this article about Andy Coulson and his prime minister:

  • mikewaller

    To me, the most sick-making element of the whole business was the lickspittles at the Times using the acquittal of la Brooks to question why the decision to go to trial was made in the first place. It strikes me that the loving interest they take in Murdoch’s fundamental orifice represents a serious health hazard to all concerned.

    • Anthorny

      I’m not a Murdoch fan, but the trial cost the UK taxpayer £40m. Nobody can argue it was either in the public interest or worth the money.

      • mikewaller

        It was worth every penny. Those scumbags have yobbified my Country and ruled the roost for far too long. Somewhere I have a pre-Murdoch era Daily Mirror and it is largely full of WORDS! The Leveson Inquiry plus the trial were the only possibilities short of a nuclear bomb that would have in anyway curtailed their activities. In this instance Ted Heath’s words are apposite: Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice!

  • Amir

    Read this article about Andy Coulson and his Prime Minister:

  • Tahitiholiday

    Charlie Brooks’s accent doesn’t sound the least bit posh to me, but if anything a bit self-made: does that open the field actor-wise?

  • lakelander

    This sort of thing usually gives rise to a musical.

    • Tahitiholiday

      What would the lyrics be? —

      Oh, oh, oh watch your back
      For, for, for the worst hack
      Isn’t what your journalists lack
      (law-abiding integrity):
      It’s luvvies and bobbies on the attack!

      I think Tim Rice can rest easy.

      • lakelander

        Good effort!

        • Tahitiholiday


    • red2black

      Thoroughly Modern Milly?

    • red2black

      Thoroughly Modern Milly?

  • elainedecoulos

    Surely, it’s Hugh Grant for Cameron.

  • Mynydd

    Mr Cameron himself is a shoe in for, QC for the defence. He knows the script from the beginning and is trying to change the ending.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Ending? What ending? Coulson is a Hero of our Times. If only more editors spent time in jail how much better their newspapers would be.

  • HookesLaw

    Amazingly this rubbish is tagged … ‘There’s never been a etter time to subscirbe…’

    It cannot be this important to be so trivial.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Very amusing, much more amusing than a boring article about the intensely patriotic “I want powers back from Europe” Cameron willingly agreeing to
    give more power to the EU by opting back into the EU Arrest Warrant:

  • City Blue

    Rupert Murdoch – Harry Hill, James Murdoch – Daniel Radcliffe, Andy Coulson – Danny Dyer, Rebekah Brooks – Catherine Tate, Charlie Brooks – Harry Enfield.

  • Ray Veysey

    For Cameron use CGI and bring back Roland Rat

  • In2minds

    And who would play the coppers embroiled in this saga?

  • DavidL

    Judging by that photo Rebekah must be played by Mick Hucknall in drag: make it a musical.

    • Tahitiholiday

      To be called ‘Crimply Red’?

    • wobble

      Christina Hendricks
      I’d watch it just for Gordon Browns pajama party alone !

    • red2black

      Hucknall’s already booked to play Neil Kinnock in a period drama about the Labour Party called ‘Simply Red’.

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