Mark Mason

Hacking Trial: the movie

Hacking Trial: the movie
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We may have had the verdicts and the sentences in the hacking trial, but the biggest question remains unanswered: who’s going to play everyone in the movie?

There’s one clear and obvious frontrunner for the part of Rebekah Brooks: Bonnie Langford. Sadly, however, Ms Langford has heavy panto commitments and cannot be released for filming. So we’ll have to make do with a B-list purveyor of ginge instead – Nicole Kidman, perhaps, or Julianne Moore. (Cate Blanchett might have got a look-in if we’d avoided the temptation to base everything on the hair, but Brooks herself never did so why should we?)

Andy Coulson should be played by Ewan McGregor, though only if he promises not to repeat his God-awful ‘estuary’ accent from The Ghost. Otherwise Martin Freeman wins the role, reprising his good-guy-drawn-slowly-into-crime chops from Fargo.

Glenn Mulcaire’s breezy Jack-the-lad (hack-the-lad?) persona can be captured by Danny Dyer or Stephen Tompkinson, depending on how low/high we want to position our brow. Unless, that is, we add a few layers of postmodern irony to the thing and ask Steve Coogan to play the role. Just as Alan Bennett is a shoe-in for Stuart Kuttner, so there’s only one man who can do justice to the part of Kelvin MacKenzie: Kelvin MacKenzie. His emotional rendition of ‘reverse ferret!’ (in the scenes depicting Brooks’s and Coulson’s early years at Wapping) has got ‘Oscar’ written all over it even before it’s been filmed.

Rupert Murdoch is tricky (but then we knew that). Old-bloke-whose-genial-demeanour-hides-a-core-of-menace seems tailor-made for Jim Broadbent, but he’s about three-feet too tall, so it’s over to John Bird. Charlie Brooks needs to be posh, so we would go for Alexander Armstrong; however he’s too chiselled and cool to pull off the drinking-a-pint-of-washing-up-liquid-to-get-rid-of-a-hangover scene. Let’s plump for Martin Clunes instead.

Cameos will include Olivia Colman as Rebekah’s loyal and adoring PA Cheryl Carter (remember her performance in 2012?), and Johnny Vegas as Labour MP Tom Watson. The real problem, though, is David Cameron. Try as I might, I cannot think of anyone to play the man. This, surely, is because the role isn’t properly written. No one really knows what David Cameron is all about, what’s at his core. There’s no ‘there’ there. He’s a character without character, and that’s impossible to cast. As soon as Cameron defines himself, we’ll be able to do the same.

Finally, we need a title. Hack to the Future? Glenn Mulcaire Always Rings Twice?