Vijay Pattni17 May 2012

Scorcese to produce ‘Silver Ghost’ film

Award-winning director to collaborate on Rolls-Royce film

Martin Scorcese

Martin Scorcese has announced he is to work alongside Lord Richard Attenborough and Anthony Haas to produce a film called "Silver Ghost". Now, quieten down at the back and listen.

Scorcese, long the auteur of brutal, bloody, guilt-ridden masterpieces (think Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver) will work alongside Lord Attenborough (Gandhi) in a film about the life of Lord John Douglas-Scott Montagu, Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. And this is where it gets interesting.

You see, Lord Montagu was an MP, and using his platform in Parliament in the early 1900s, campaigned tirelessly on behalf of motorists. He was the first member of the Road Board, helped bring about vehicle registration plates, and even launched a monthly magazine called The Car. Spiffing!

And, as if his stature needed elevating, his was the first car to ever enter the yard of the House of Commons; in 1899, Lord Montagu drove his newly-bought 12hp Daimler - the same car that King Edward VII would later have a ride in - into the yard. Eyewitness accounts suggest he was sideways, in a plume of tyre-smoke exercising full opposite lock. And puffing on a pipe*.

It gets deeper still. Though married, he had a secret love affair with a lady named Eleanor Thornton, and if that name rings a bell, you win an Official Top Gear Point For Interesting Trivia That Exists On An Internet: Eleanor was of course, the inspiration behind the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy' mascot that sits on the bonnet of every single car made by his good friends Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, designed by his other good friend, Charles Sykes.

Says Marty: "When I read the story of ‘Silver Ghost', I was mesmerised. I immediately thought this is a picture that has to be made. I didn't hesitate for a moment."

Sir Ralph Robins, former chairman of Rolls-Royce plc, said: "It covers the thrilling and tragic events during which one of the greatest engineering names in the world was created."

The screenplay has been written by Kiera Knightley's mum, Sharman Macdonald, and although no actors have been linked to the film, Christian Bale is rumoured to be playing Lord Montagu. Just a rumour though, Internet, just a rumour...

We're excited. Not least because we're hoping for a full, blood-soaked automotive masterpiece in which Joe Pesci ruthlessly slays Rolls-Royce competitors, Robert De Niro threatens a mirror and Christian Bale - in full Batman garb - lays waste to early 20th century British countryside in a modified Roller. Throw in some drifting, some fire and explosions, and we've got a film on our hands.

*This is probably quite untrue.

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