Isle of Wight writer's script set for big screen By Jon Moreno Friday, November 25, 2016

A MYSTERIOUS true tale of the disappearance of three Scottish lighthouse keepers, which has been transformed into a script co-written by a Cowes actor, is getting the Hollywood treatment.

Island-born Joe Bone, who made a name for himself as the star of the one-man Bruce Bane stage play series, hopes to follow in the star-studded footsteps of Anthony Minghella after his psychological thriller, Keepers, was confirmed for principal filming in March next year.

It will boast some of the country’s top actors, Gerard Butler (300, Machine Gun Preacher) and Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, War Horse, My Name is Joe), as well as leading Danish director, Kristoffer Nyholm, who starred in cult TV drama The Killing.

Inspired by the true story of the Flannan Isle mystery, in which three lighthouse keepers went missing without a trace, Keepers was co-written with fellow actor Celyn Jones, who he met on the set of BBC television drama, Castles in the Sky, in 2013.

Joe, 33, who grew up in Cowes, said: "One morning, over bacon and eggs, I told Celyn about the mystery and asked him if he’d like to collaborate with me on it, although I’d never written a screenplay.

"The script took about 18 months to do but it all started about ten years ago, as I was sitting on the downs watching the revolving beam of St Catherine’s Lighthouse.

"It got me thinking about what was going on inside there. I then discovered the tale of Flannan Isle and the keepers who went missing, never to be seen again. What a yarn, I thought. That could make a great movie!"

Joe, who also has a small part in the film, said he and Celyn had already compiled a wish list of who they would want in the film if it ever got the green light — and Butler and Mullan were on it.

Casting the parts was done by another Islander, Reg Poerscout Edgerton, who has an amazing CV that includes Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Eddie the Eagle.

"It’s a complete dream come true. This sort of thing doesn’t happen with your first attempt," said Joe, a big fan of Minghella.

"Anthony is an inspiration. Like me, he grew up on the Island and it would be incredible to achieve some of the things he did."

The film is being distributed by Protagonist Pictures and financed by Cross Creek Pictures, after it was successfully introduced to buyers at the American Film Market, recently.

Joe also has high hopes for his follow-up project, the ecological crime comedy Green, which he co-wrote with Islander Ben Roe, who worked with him on Bane.

So far, it has already attracted huge interest from Ash Brannon, who co-directed box office smash Toy Story 2.

Joe is also currently co-writing a pilot for a new US crime drama series The Informed.

"I always believe, just dream big! You just never know. I’ve proved that it can be done," said Joe.

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