George Harris and Daniel Craig in Layer Cake (above).
“This monkey business is in your blood, under your skin. You aren’t getting out, you’re just getting in. You’re only getting started…”
Eddy Temple, or Ryder is it? We hardly knew ye. For it is fact, now confirmed, the rumor that author J.J. Connolly has only reprised one other character in his soon to hit sequel to Layer Cake, Viva la Madness. That character, as we have speculated, is Mr. Mortimer, pictured above with [xxxx], played by Daniel Craig.
It’s not as though we have a problem with Morty by any means, but some might ask how dare he skunk so many other dynamic characters, especially Eddy Ryder and Gene? Well, we’ve got other news also gleaned from Connolly interviews. He has not sold the rights to Viva la Madness and doesn’t sound positive that it will make it to the big screen. Connolly said he hopes to hear from Matthew Vaughn who he hopes will ring Daniel Craig.
Everyone should remember that Layer Cake was done on a tight budget, that Craig was not yet a movie star at that time and that Vaughn was a rookie director on the film, most certainly an expense saved. And now, Craig is just about the biggest movie star on the planet. That Layer Cake helped get him the role of 007 though does in no way ensure that Craig actually reprises the role of [xxxx].
If your return visit to the Layer Cake has been decidedly negative so far, take heart. Whatever the machinations are of Hollywood and big business, we are very confident that this sequel will do what is almost impossible in the realm of entertainment, which is to succeed on an artistic level. But Crack, haven’t you trashed Connolly for being a cheap artist who uses cheap tricks like the unrevealed narrator, and who writes in the first person, making for standard junk fiction?
Yes and no. We aren’t expecting the second coming of War and Peace, some great achievement in high fiction. What we are expecting is the second coming of Layer Cake, only more expansive. Layer Cake goes international. Connolly might not write high fiction, but he is definitely in the Premiere League of regular fiction. We have missed his sterling dialogue and have waited anxiously for this sequel, which you can pre-order now in advance of its September release.
Crack, didn’t you pan Connolly for Layer Cake’s inconsistent ending, crediting Vaughn for cleaning up the story and making for a better film than book, something rarely done in the history of fiction to motion picture? Yes. Connolly though also had a major hand in the way the story was reworked (he wrote the screenplay), and while we don’t necessarily agree with what he did with [xxxx] at the end of the book to get an innocent American tourist killed in the park instead of Klaus, the Amsterdam pill syndicate’s gruesome henchman, we do now understand his logic, as a major advocate of legalization, that the illegal drug world is chaotic and violent and that the more involved people are in it, the less control they will have over their lives.
Obviously that is true, and is perhaps an even better rationale for legalization than financial exploits. After all, a book is a different entity from a movie, and Connolly didn’t have the same interest in keeping [xxxx] likable as say, Sony and Columbia Pictures did. Connolly does have a keen interest in presenting his world, where the dons are the least trustworthy of all, and we feel he has a lot to work with even without the embarrassment of riches that were the bulk of his original book cast. With Mort having sufficient connections in the Caribbean and in the cocaine world, with that world being [xxxx]’s only real trade, and now having him relocated to Venezuela, a stone’s throw from the coast of Colombia, we are expecting to see all the tricks on the highest level of that trade, including the latest in international smuggling and money laundering that Connolly has now had about ten years to research and write up.
Whether he makes it to the big screen again or not, take heart friends, for [xxxx] is indeed alive. Watch the alternate endings on your DVD! Sidney does not kill our protagonist on the steps of Pepi’s Barn with that gun shot. As you may know from the end of the book. And as you also may know, [xxxx] is forced to relocate to the Caribbean or risk being prosecuted for killing an American tourist.
It all makes for a great beginning for Viva la Madness, which we think will provide us with a look into a world which combines gritty London gangster, tropical locales, and an episode of Locked Up Abroad in South America. Jimmy Price, London’s godfather and chief rat, had his brains and those of his boxers splattered all over his backyard. The London underworld is out of whack, pardon the pun, and coke prices, even at insane wholesale levels, have skyrocketed, as Connolly also set up well at the end of Layer Cake. Re-enter [xxxx] later this month.
How does [xxxx] actually re-enter the United Kingdom? And how are we to forget the characters we have come to love? We’re confident leaving all that to Connolly.