Take Paul Abbott’s award-winning British teleplay, hand it over to two of Hollywood’s hottest screenwriters (Tony Gilroy, Michael Matthew Carnahan), and this is the best nugget of dialogue you can find to kick off the trailer?
Reporter: I heard about _____.
Cop: Who told you that?
Reporter: You just did.
With that, and lines like, “Find out who she knows, who she blows, and what color her knickers are,” I’m not sure if i can handle all the cleverness. Remember when Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were accused of being divas last year when they dropped out of State of Play over “script concerns”? More proof that Pitt and Norton make great career choices?
Austin Powers: Your boss, Number 2. I understand that cat’s involved in big underground drills.
Alotta Fagina: How did you know?
Austin Powers: I didn’t, baby. You just told me.
At least when Austin Powers used that ancient gotcha formula, it was meant to be a parody. The screenplay for the BBC miniseries State of Play sizzled. Do yourself a favor and put the original in your Netflix queue. That’ll give us something interesting to talk about a month from now when the Americanized version opens.