In 2009, I wrote an article for Italy Magazine which began,
"Who really knows when a journey towards fulfilment begins? Looking back, I sometimes think that my journey towards the island of Sicily began much earlier than that first visit in October 1992. And, like most of the important events in my life, it began with a book:
I don’t know quite why, browsing in a bookshop in Pinner, North London in 1967, I picked up a paperback entitled The Leopard, a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa......."
This is, of course, the book which inspired the famous 1963 Visconti film starring Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale. Who could ever forget the ballroom scene?
Well, now it has been reported that there is going to be a remake and Miss Cardinale is not happy about it, having asked how anyone can think of making a film version of Il Gattopardo without Luchino Visconti. However, it turns out that the remake is not going to be a remake but a film about Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's life based on David Gilmour's biography The Last Leopard [which I also mentioned in the above article]. That's all right, then ... or is it?
The new film is the brainchild of London-based filmmaker Demian Gregory and will include parts of the novel which were left out of the original film but there is some confusion here about rights. According to Variety, Mr Gregory has obtained the adaptation rights of the original film but other reports state that it may be more difficult for him to obtain film rights for the book. Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi di Lampedusa, the author's adopted son, has confirmed that the new project is not a remake but seems to think that more time will be required to deal with the question of the book rights.
The Italian legal system is not famous for its speed so it remains to be seen whether filming will start in Palermo this year as planned.
Pazienza, Mr Gregory!