Twentieth Century Fox is developing a loose adaptation of a ‘pseudo-documentary’ that originally aired on the BBC in 2003, which will take the form of disaster thriller Cascade, to be produced by Ridley Scott. Previously thought to have Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) attached to direct, the project now has Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns) in negotiations to take the helm, with Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett circling the lead role.
The BBC’s The Day Britain Stopped is basically a realistic, but fictionalized depiction of a domino-effect event that escalates to a nationwide disaster. A train accident in the north causes two unions to stage a strike at Christmas, due to safety concerns – effectively disrupting Britain’s rail network. Rail passengers are forced to use the road, causing chaos and accidents, which close various motorways. With people stuck in traffic for many hours, developing hypothermia, the air traffic controllers at Heathrow have to work extended shifts without a break, ultimately leading to a devastating air disaster.
The screenplay for the loose adaptation, Cascade, is written by Kieran Fitzgerald, and shifts the action from the railways of Britain to the Persian Gulf, where an oil tanker collision kick-starts an international crisis. While the premise does indeed sound like the film takes a relatively small dramatic tale and expands it on both geographical and political levels, it is the interest of Blanchett in the lead role that makes this an exciting project. While many would assume she would be playing a senior politician, or something similar, she is reportedly looking at the role of the oil tanker captain, who must prove that she has not committed a terrorist act.
Should it come together, this project has the potential to be a huge female-led movie featuring an Academy Award winning actress in the type of role usually occupied by men. If Blanchett ultimately passes, her initial interest has still signalled the fact that this can be a female-led movie, leaving the door open for another actress to step in. Whoever it is that performs the part in the finished product, we could well be looking at something ground-breaking with the eventual release of Cascade.