It looks like Hollywood doesn't have exclusivity on rival projects. Across the pond in the U.K., Michael Winterbottom's "The King Of Soho" is not only facing some competition, but also a lawsuit, as another movie about porn baron Paul Raymond with a potentially big name set to star.
According to The Daily Mail (via FirstShowing), Raymond's son, Howard, is gearing up his own movie based on the book "The King Of Soho: The Life And Times Of Paul Raymond" by Paul Willetts, due to be published next year. He claims that Tom Hiddleston has the lead role in his version and that shooting will get underway in 2013. "We’ve waited a long time to get the right person and in Tom we finally have. It’s a difficult role, not because he is playing my father but because he is in every scene in the film," he enthused. "We have a great script and some time in the next year we will be going into production."
But what about Winterbottom's film? Well, he's already planning to set lawyers on that one (though on what grounds remains unclear) and he doesn't think much of it either. "It will be like chalk and cheese," Howard said. "We call it 'Carry On Up Old Compton Street.' " Zing.
We'll see how this plays out. The story of Paul Raymond — a pornographer, strip club owner and impresario who managed to accumulate a fortune of close to £650 million (or just over a billion dollars) after buying up property in the central London area of Soho — is certainly worthy of the big screen, and Winterbottom's film has already rounded up a great cast with Steve Coogan in the lead role and Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, Tamsin Egerton and more in support. And generally speaking, producers — especially newbies — tend to get a bit excited and put the cart in front of the horse when it comes to casting so we'll eventually see how real HIddleston's casting is.
Whether or not Winterbottom's film is in real legal trouble or not remains to be seen, but it's quite possible we'll be seeing two different takes on the life of Paul Raymond in the not too distant future.