Just finished Spare, and wow! That was a good read. Or at least, a read. It’s a massive bestseller, of course, so I desperately want to get ahead of the game on pitching it to Hollywood. Prince Harry might not even have read Spare (he doesn’t love reading, and to be honest, this isn’t the book that’s going to change his mind), so it’s probably up to me to get the jump on this one. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are already working with Netflix, and this movie should be right home among the streaming service’s hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of content of variable quality. Please consider the following treatment for the film adaptation:
Casting: Someone needs to play Prince Harry. My first thought is that Prince Harry could do it, but that seems beneath him. Let’s see if Daniel Radcliffe is available — he does well in the role of struggling but magical boy. Meghan Markle deserves a big role in it (if you’ve ever seen Suits, you get it). However, her character doesn’t appear until after several hundred pages of slow-moving plot, so I think she should play someone more central from the beginning, like Prince William. Maggie Smith should obviously (obviously) play the queen. The trailer itself could be just her looking directly at the camera and saying “I suppose I have to say yes” when Harry/Daniel asks if he can propose.
Title: Spare doesn’t work because it’s already the name of ABC’s new drama about a beleaguered Southern Alabama bowling team… but that’s OK, there are plenty of other good ones in the book. Perhaps South Pole, as a play on both his own frost-bitten nether-regions and his dramatic exile from the Royal Family to a far-off land? Or maybe Ginger, to represent how gingerly screenwriters will have to approach the difficult subject matter.
Tone: I thought it might fit in well with historical fiction — it has Downton Abbey vibes, after all — until I realized that this book isn’t a work of fiction. These are real people! Yikes. As such, I suggest more of a dystopian vibe, like The Handmaid’s Tale.
Script: The movie does need to be somewhat different from the book so fans have something new to look forward to. For example, we could give the movie a plot.
Costumes: At least 45 pages were devoted to various rings and tiaras surrounding the royal wedding, so we’re going to need a jewelry expert in here to style the cast. I suggest we buy out Claire’s, just to have it on hand.
Setting: Harry really wants you to feel like you’re getting a behind-the-scenes view of royal life. I’ve thought long and hard about how to get that same vibe in a movie, and I hate to say it, but I truly believe the only way to capture that gross, insider feel is to set it in Buckingham Palace’s sewage drain. Yeah, it’s the only place that will work. Lighting will be difficult, and someone will need to corral the rats, but I just don’t think anything else comes close enough to the horrifying/regal mix Harry is going for.
Marketing plan: We need to do things a little bit differently. I suggest a reverse-PR tour: Harry and Meghan commit to shutting the f*ck up in the three months before the movie is released. Fans will be champing at the bit, I promise.
Run-time: There’s a lot to fit in here. The man has lived a life. I mean, I counted at least three different all-boys’ schools. That’s a lot of screentime. I’d say the movie needs to be at least seven hours long. It might work better as a mini-series, to be honest. Or a maxi-series.
Rating: It’s going to have be NC-17 for the frostbite situation. I know that nudity would typically only garner an R-rating, but the thing about Harry is that he’s royal. Honestly, let’s go NC-21. Maybe NC-105. I’m not sure anyone should have to watch this movie.