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33 thoughts on “Exciting Times

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  • glenn

    Film rights, eh? Looking for any extras? I did Scrooge in my sixth form play of A Christmas Carol – brought the house down!

  • s j west

    Don’t get conned and check out (or ask your agents to) check out ‘hollywood accounting’ as a search term.

    Good luck.

  • somebody

    Excellent news. Congratulations. I hope Nadira is playing herself and that you both have agents. Wolf eats wolf in that world.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks goes out to Neil Barker for copying your book to pdf and releasing it on the internet.

  • ingo

    Well done, just make sure you keep a hand on the script, even if its not Hollywood, they always try and change stuff.

    I can play a very good and authentic German, with, or without monocle.(:-)

  • somebody

    Take no notice. ‘They’ are the nastiest lowlifes one would hope never to meet. Anything they can think of to damage, harm or denigrate you is possible. I always think that it is a miracle that you haven’t gone the same way as David Kelly.

    ‘Meanwhile, there was almost as much interest in the newly returned film rights as the first time around. This time I understood more of how to learn if a director had the right vision for the film, and after meeting him I gave the rights to Julien Temple, who is most famous for his work with the Sex Pistols.

    Who else? Former Doctor Who star David Tennant is playing Craig Murray in the Radio 4 drama based on his book

    Steve Coogan is still on board for the film, and screenwriter Don McPherson is producing what will be the third film script of Murder In Samarkand. We are in what filmmakers call ‘the development phase’ – looking for money.

    However, David is nothing if not tenacious. The rights to his screenplay were still held by Paramount. It couldn’t do anything with it, as it no longer had the film rights, but it could stop anyone else using the script.

    It seemed a crime that a major work by David should simply moulder on a Hollywood shelf. Eventually, he managed to persuade Paramount to release the radio rights and set about converting the screenplay to a radio drama. Radio 4 was delighted to have the opportunity to premiere such a major work.–No-wonder-called-Doctor-Who.html#ixzz0sAbJwm6n

    Is this still the latest?

    PS Yet another British casualty has been reported making no, xxx in this grisly toll. Sorry lost count. It is just a chess game to the politicians.

  • craig


    it’s moved on since with several new major production companies offering for the rights.

  • Leo

    Good luck! Hope something good comes from the hassle.

    If not, don’t get down; it can take years for films to actually get made. So much money, legalities, politics and scheduling involved in the things that it’s inevitable to some degree.

  • nextus

    I suspected as much, Craig. Good news indeed.

    I hope that the final edit delivers an optimal balance between joviality and pathos. Scenes of partying and bellydancing would not only provide light relief, but accentuate the gravitas of citizens being tortured for false justification to maintain hegemony. It could prompt people to pause and reflect about their own government’s tactics.

    PS. My choice for playing Nadira would be the gorgeous Gemma Chan from the Bing adverts (“you talking to me!”)

  • Scouse Billy

    That’s excellent news.

    Meanwhile a topical titbit:

    “Celebrating FIFA’s centennial in 2004 had Blatter touring Uzbekistan,

    Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, places where people

    live in fear of poverty, organised crime, arbitrary arrest and torture. Blatter’s

    team saw none of that. They reported, ‘every day is a celebration of tolerance

    through the harmonious coexistence of Islam and Orthodox Christianity, of

    Turko-Mongols and Slavs’.47 Similar visits have lent FIFA’s support to authoritarian

    regimes in Sudan, Morocco and Tunisia ?” indeed anywhere that has a


    In April 2009 Blatter revisited Kazakhstan, announcing that he and

    President Nazarbayev gave their ‘full backing to fighting corruption’. Days later

    Blatter was in Moldova. ‘I wish to congratulate you and your party’s victory in

    the recent elections,’ he announced, handing over FIFA’s Presidential Medal to

    president Vladimir Voronin.48 Blatter seemed unperturbed by the murder by

    riot police of three young men who’d protested massive voter fraud. Blatter’s

    visit may have been the kiss of death because within three months Voronin was


    Full article here:

  • ingo

    How about pitching it to Michael Moore, I would have though that he would take an interest, especillly when you tell him that other production companies are taking an interest.

    He’s been and done the mistakes and at least Murder in Samarkand would be produced by an Independent.

    Does he have enough dosh to make it happen/

    I think so, please tell me off if I@m wrong, I do so much like to be called the red baron.

    Was there not a scene in the German embassy? if I remember rightly? (:-)

  • Abe Rene

    All the best – it would be nice if you got not only prosperity but also an Oscar for writing the script or something, and the film also helped the cause of human rights.

  • Clark

    Craig wrote: “*For some reason*, there has been a quite extraordinary rush of interest in the film rights of Murder in Samarkand”.

    I wonder why now. Change of government, maybe? – though that’s more a question of “why not before”. Anyone who’s read the book must realise what a great film it would make. And film rights are international, whereas the election was not.

    I’ve never liked car chases in films, but I’d like to see the one where the Uzbek henchmen fail to ram Craig’s car, followed by the bit with the over-decorated official at the trestle tables; had me in stitches!

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Great news Craig! This film will hopefully get a lot more people to take an interest in British foreign policy and read the book. It could yet get you better known in Britain and improve your chances of getting elected too.

  • Sceptic

    Be careful, they may want to buy the film rights just to bury the chances of a film ever being made.

  • ingo

    Good point sceptic, hence my Michael Moore pitch, can’t see him being nobbled, can you?

  • Jon

    Splendid news – if it’s half as good as David Hare’s radio play it will be excellent. @somebody’s suggestion that you should be professionally represented in the negotiations does rather sound like a good idea – hope it goes well.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Well done Craig – good luck. Murder in Samarkand is perfect for Michael Moore – like the idea ingo.

    The door is now open wide into America – this from Joshua Foust:

    “I see that a U.S. edition of Craig Murray’s book is finally available. Of course, this being the U.S., the title has mutated, from the rather dignified-sounding, Murder in Samarkand: A British Ambassador’s Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror to the more Murdoch-friendly Dirty Diplomacy: The Rough-and-Tumble Adventures of a Scotch-Drinking, Skirt-Chasing, Dictator-Busting and Thoroughly Unrepentant Ambassador Stuck on the Frontline of the War Against Terror.

    Good grief. The man is no Christopher Hitchens, but with a title like that he could be the new Fiona Apple.

    Regardless, the fight he has had thrust upon him by Alisher “don’t libel me, bro” Usmanov seems reason enough to give it a read, and reason enough to temporarily shelve whatever concerns we may have for its veracity. It even includes some passages that were edited out of the UK edition because, in Craig’s formulation, of “the protections for freedom of speech in the US.” How telling.”

  • glenn

    ingo: fair point about M. Moore, he doesn’t roll over and get intimidated very readily. On the other hand, the Powers That Be have quite a habit of making sure the distribution of his work is kept to an absolute minimum.

  • ingo

    The idea was to get him to support and accredited the work.

    I’m sure that with a few carefull soundings, Craig would find someone to write a decent script.

    keeping control with Hollywood in charge would be an absolute impossibility would it not?

    I’m not an extert on this and forgive my naivity for nsuggesting a polemic Michel Moore, but it would also build bridges.

    Invite him to Dopune castle fair, indeed we all should meet up there for a Ting, get together without all this electronic frippary and the control bots hanging around.

    Would be so nice to put a face to all the words, have a chat and see what one can do to further a more tangent future.

  • Mat

    That’s excellent news, Craig ?” for both you and the region. Aside from worldwide scrutiny and bad press, few things appear to encourage regimes (and in this case, their Western backers) to clean up their act like movies where they are depicted as the “bad guys”.

    Like others here, if you need extras or bad, handheld camera work (it adds to the drama, apparently), I’m in.

  • avatar-singh

    congratulation Craig-you deserve that . .good luck ! . you have the courage and intelligence with sernse of honesty so lacking in todays public faces . with best of wishes.

  • avatar singh

    scouse wriote “Celebrating FIFA’s centennial in 2004 had Blatter touring Uzbekistan,

    Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, places where people”

    hey donto go hard on Blatter who is encouragin the football the world oever.

    just because england got rightly massacred does not mean that blatter is to balme.

    england was the worst team of the tournament-notwithstanding tha basotful media and britich propaganda about winning world cup-dream on!

    without bad decision the score would could been not 4-2 but 7-2 in favour of germany .

  • Scouse Billy

    avatar singh at June 29, 2010 10:18 PM

    Lol. Now seriously go check the full article. I don’t Blaame Blatter for England’s defeat – much worse than that; I blame him for ruining football and fraud. Glad to chear that up 😉

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