Continuing our bumper coverage of Arrow Video Frightfest, we caught up with screenwriter Ian Weir to talk about The Breach, an adaptation of the work of author Nick Cutter.
When did you first consider adapting a Nick Cutter story into a film?
As a matter of fact, Nick approached me – or rather, my friend Craig Davidson did, since that’s Nick Cutter’s alter ego. Craig writes brilliant literary fiction under his own name, and the two of us had become pals on the literary festival circuit (I moonlight as a novelist). This was back in 2019. Craig had been approached by Andrew Hunt at Raven Banner Films to write a movie, and wanted to know if I’d be interested in co-writing with him, since he’s mainly a novelist and I’m mainly a screenwriter. I said (approximately) “YES,” with several exclamation marks.
I take it you are a fan of his work?
I’m a huge fan. Loved The Troop, and have devoured every Nick Cutter novel since.
How difficult is adapting a novel? Is it tough knowing what to take out and tweak?
That’s a great question – and the answer is kind of, “it depends.” There’s an old screenwriting cliche about good novels being trickier to adapt than bad ones – and Nick Cutter novels are GOOD. It’s really a matter of re-creation, rather than adaptation – you try to reimagine the story in a very different medium, while staying true to the characters and the essence.
Did Nick have much input into the adaptation?
Yes, indeed! He and I were writing partners, every step of the way.
Tell us about working with Rodrigo Gudino?
I really didn’t get a chance to work directly with Rodrigo – which is fairly standard in the movie world. My background is as a TV writer and showrunner, and in that world there’s constant interaction. But with feature films, screenwriters don’t tend to be part of the production process (unless you’re the writer/director). So I met Rodrigo via Zoom for the cast read-through (I’m on the West Coast, and they were filming in Northern Ontario) – loved the cast, and Rodrigo’s approach – and wished everyone well!
How exciting is it to be screening at Arrow Video Frightfest?
Very! London is my favourite city in the world – I was a graduate student in London back in the day, have returned as often as humanly possible, and can close my eyes and see Leicester Square right now….
You’ve mainly worked in television up until now, has The Breach given you the potential to do more feature film scripts?
Well, I still love television. But – funny you should ask – I just signed on to do a rewrite on a wonderful indie feature film script. So apparently the answer is “yes”!
The Breach screens at Arrow Video Frightfest 2022.