TORONTO — Television reporter Arthur Kent, who earned the nickname “Scud Stud” for his coverage of the Persian Gulf war, has a movie in the works about his life as a foreign correspondent and his battle with NBC.
The film is based on his memoirs, “Risk and Redemption: Surviving the Network News Wars,” published by Pen-guin in Canada (where it is a bestseller) and due to be published in May in the U.S. by Interstellar Inc.
Kent’s own production company in London, Fast Forward Films, has teamed up with Victor Solnicki’s the Film Works in Toronto to produce the film, budgeted at under $10 million.
It will be a first feature for Fast Forward, a producer of documentaries, news and public affairs programming. Kent is no novice, however. He produced the 1981 feature, “Class of 1984,” starring Roddy McDowall and Perry King.
The Film Works’ latest project was “The Arrow,” a TV movie about the Canadian government killing a project to build a futuristic jet in the 1950s, starring Dan Aykroyd and Christopher Plummer. Outside of the Film Works, Solnicki has produced 10 feature films, including three by David Cronenberg, “The Brood,” “Scanners” and “Videodrome.”
Kent has reported many of the world’s major upheavals, including the uprising in China’s Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the war in Afghanistan. But his battle with NBC management over what he saw as cor-porate interference and a push toward soft-style tabloid news got him fired in 1992 and justified the dismissal im-plying cowardice when Kent refused an assignment in Bosnia.
Kent took the company and its powerful parent, General Electric, to court to clear his name — and won. In 1994, NBC apologized, praised his ability and bravery and paid him an undisclosed amount of cash.