[Everybody knows this, but I’ll state it for the record: this post is pure speculation and conjecture on my part. I don’t even remotely know anybody who remotely knows Richard Armitage and Phillipa Langley. I’m simply adding my 3 cents worth because 1) I need to force myself back to blogging and 2) there’s nothing new to talk about apparently until Christmas.]
I don’t give a damn about Richard III. Yes, I’m a history buff and watched the Channel 4 documentary with Phillipa Langley. The discovery of the king’s remains was quite remarkable and an achievement. To my disappointment, there were no new clues suggesting what sort of man he really was: man or monster? Simply, the king’s bones were found; now they can be laid to rest. My historical interest ended there, but my fascination with the players around Richard III began. So, yeah, I’m not a Ricardian.
Unfortunately for the Ricardians, the Channel 4 documentary did them no favors. Through the magic of editing and selective interviewing, they came across not only as dedicated and passionate about their man, but also narrow-minded, obsessive, and possibly delusional. I suspect the network did not go out of its way to interview less colorful fans along the Ricardian spectrum; that’s not as interesting to viewers after all. In the center of this sat poor Phillipa Langley, depicted as a tenacious woman, but ultimately, the poster child for That Fan And How Not To Be, as she shook, trembled and half fainted over the bones of a man dead 500 years. I have no clue as to the type of person Ms. Langley is actually. However, by the end of the special, I felt chagrinned and sad that a televised show which was supposed to celebrate the discovery, ended up robbing Ms. Langley of dignity and credibility. For me, “man or monster,” turned to “is or isn’t she crazy?” Channel 4 sowed the seed of doubt about her, something that may come back to hurt her, especially when persuading people to buy her script.
This is where things get interesting again.
Ms. Langley has a script about Richard III. Anxious to strike while the iron is red hot, she set up her bandwagon by telling the press that Richard Armitage, her main choice to play the king, was in Los Angeles flogging a script (the assumption being it was HER script). Such serendipity! RA, a smoking hot property fresh from The Hobbit and touted actor to play Richard III, was in L.A. pitching to Hollywood Types, a script connected to a smoking hot international discovery.
As soon as I heard this, I thought: “O rly?” For over six years, RA has been trying to interest investors in his own Richard III project (the assumption being it was NOT HER script) in which he never at any time mentioned Phillipa Langley. But such serendipity! He could set up his bandwagon and use his emerging world exposure from The Hobbit to pitch to Hollywood Types his project connected to a smoking hot international discovery.
But wait, did Ms. Langley’s statement mean he was now on her bandwagon instead of the other way around? What has followed in the last few weeks from RA, has been the most excruciatingly coached noncommittal AND distancing remarks he’s ever uttered. He has stated he’s spoken to Ms. Langley in the past. It’s highly likely he has seen the special and its slant on her. We have no clue what they said to each other or when, or that his being in L.A. at that time had anything to do with her although she wanted the press to think so. He can’t say “yes, I’m on her bandwagon,” because that might scare off wary Hollywood Types. He can’t burn bridges and say, “WTF, no way we are connected,” in case her project does come to fruition first and he is sought for the lead. Also, he can’t say anything because it’s premature and unprofessional to discuss a project before the ink is dry on the contracts and the PR machine is in place. So poor RA must continue with the damage control.
Can’t wait to hear what she says next.
EDIT: Our Jane in the comments pointed out that she thought their projects were one and the same. However, this bring me back to whether he should admit he’s on the bandwagon with Ms. Langley. Could he still be circumspect while throwing her a crumb and acknowledging her in some way? I just have a hunch (yes that’s a legal term) that something else is in play besides circumspection.