Summing up Carrion
I read an article recently by John Truby about Breaking Bad. I’m a big fan of Breaking Bad so was interested to see what Truby had to say. He had some interesting insights on the character development of Walter White over the length of the show. A journey best described by the shows creator Vince Gilligan. “What was interesting to me was a straight arrow character (Walt) who decides to make a radical change in his life and goes from being a protagonist to an antagonist.” Walt’s development from protagonist to antagonist can best be summarised with another quote from Gilligan; his initial pitch to Sony. “I want to take Mr. Chips and turn him into Scarface over the life of the series.” The line “I want to take Mr. Chips and turn him into Scarface” has stuck with me since I read it. It’s a brilliantly concise premise for Breaking Bad and one I have been struggling to emulate for Carrion. I got one half of the equation relatively quickly. Adam Leigh becomes Che Guevara. Adam doesn’t share Guevera’s politics but when most people think of Che Guevera they don’t think of his politics they think of him as a rebel. And rebel is the primary characteristic Adam has by the end of Carrion. By the end of the screenplay Adam has been transformed from self-righteous policeman into a freedom fighter willing to take up arms against the oppression of prohibition. That half of the equation set its complement has taken a little longer to pin down. I’ve found it hard to come up with a policeman with the right amount of character flaws that doesn’t end up being thought of as Dirty Harry. But today I think I might have found my Mr. Chips; Die Hard’s John McClane. The more I think about it the more it seems to fit. Adam Leigh might be a little darker than McClane but he’s a good hook to hang Adam’s character coat on. I’m still not sure if it works completely. Does this pitch peak your interest? “I want to take John McClane and turn him into Che Guevara.” You tell me.