They have worked together in Brosnan’s first outing as 007 in GoldenEye, but now Pierce Brosnan and Martin Campbell are attempting to tackle something a bit more complex: an Ernest Hemingway novel. Across The River And Into The Trees is the name of the novel and while it does not have the reputation or acclaim of A Farewell To Arms or For Whom The Bell Tolls, it is certainly underrated.
It follows the story of Colonel Richard Cantwell; an aging and war-scarred man posted in Italy in 1950 who discovers that he is terminally ill. In an effort to make the most of his last days, he commandeers a driver to take him to Trieste to duck hunt. While hunting, his mind is continually drawn back to a beautiful young countess, Renata, whom he met in Venice and with whom he experienced a new love of life.
There’s no denying it is seriously sombre stuff, but Hemingway’s direct and apologetically honest prose makes for a fascinating discourse on mortality, love and how one faces death. The scriptwriters Peter Flannery and Michael Radford have had the monumental task of translating Hemingway’s work for the big screen; only time will tell if they’ve done it successfully. All being well, Campbell will hope to get the cameras rolling in October in Venice but the next installment of the Brosnan/Campbell partnership to hit cinemas will be The Foreigner, which is currently shooting.