Adapted screenplay contender
DISTRIB/RELEASE DATE: Fox Searchlight/Sept. 27
ADAPTED FROM: Novel “The Last King of Scotland” by Giles Foden.
STORYLINE: In 1970, callow Scottish medical-school grad Nicholas Garrigan goes to Uganda and, in a series of coincidences, befriends the country’s president, Idi Amin. While Amin at first seems to be rational and a good leader for the people, Garrigan soon finds out Amin is a murderous tyrant.
ABOUT THE SCRIPT: Morgan worked on a majority of the script, while Brock came in at the end when Morgan turned his attention to “The Queen.” The two writers never met. Says Brock: “The power of Amin and the story of seduction and paranoia was extremely compelling, as was the fact that Amin wasn’t a cardboard-cutout character.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “The principal challenge was where to end it,” Morgan says. “Should one take Nicholas back to Great Britain and see what happens there? And all the rewriting involved the women and their relationships.”
BREAKTHROUGH IDEA: Says Brock: “Developing the relationship between Garrigan and Amin. It’s here you feel the blend of fact and fiction is at its most powerful.” Adds Morgan, “The ideal way to work with Kevin (Macdonald, the director) is to do a first draft on your own, then work together on a second draft.”
CHOICE LINES: Morgan’s pick: Upon meeting Garrigan, Amin says, “If I could be anything except a Ugandan, it would be a Scot. Except for the red hair, which I’m sure your women find attractive but we find quite disgusting.