Darryl Wharton-Rigby, who’s contributed to this site in the past, and who recently wrapped principal photography on a Tokyo-set indie motion picture titled “Stay,” is now attached to direct a thriller centered on the intriguing story of Ghana’s World Cup cash.
In short, in case you missed the real-life story last week, as much as $3 million in cash, reportedly sent by Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama, was sent, by plane, to Brazil, in a bid to appease members of the country’s World Cup team players, who were unhappy at being denied bonus payments, which was said to have seriously disrupted Ghana’s preparations for its decisive Group G game against Portugal on Thursday (a game they lost, 2-1).
Whatrton-Rigby’s screenplay will center on the courier who’s job is to fly the $3 million to Brazil in an effort to stop the Ghanaian football team from quitting the World Cup contest, as an act of protest against what they feel is under-payment. The money is stolen (in the script, not in real-life) after the courier is ambushed. He then has less than a day to recover the stash of cash.
“The world has soccer fever and Hollywood has caught it,” said Wharton-Rigby. Indeed. In fact, I’m surprised that there haven’t been even more soccer-related films put into production, given how *safe* Hollywood studios tend to be when it comes to what projects deserve to be made.
The screenplay has been optioned by US production company Bugeater. Founders Dan Mirvish and Barry Hennessey will produce the film.
Hennessy, an Emmy winner for reality TV show “The Amazing Race,” told the Wrap: “I’ve shot extensively in both Ghana and Brazil, and this is a perfect project to capture the raw energy that both countries have to offer.”
By the way, with last week’s loss to Portugal, Ghana is out of World Cup competition.
Baltimore native Wharton–Rigby has lived in Japan since 2005. He moved from Fukushima to Tokyo in 2012, after the March 11th earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant disaster. In addition to his Tokyo-set drama, which is currently in post-production, last year, the filmmaker was awarded the top prize at the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition, which is held annually by the Baltimore Film Office. It is designed to create/raise awareness of screenplays as a literary art form, and to encourage new screenwriters. Wharton-Rigby’s winning screenplay, Prodigal, is about a Baltimore City police officer whose son gets captured by a drug lord and held for ransom.