James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, currently heavily involved in the new 007 movie ‘Skyfall’, will honour the memory of her friend Dodi Fayed when she brings a stage version of ‘Chariots of Fire’ to London’s West End.
Dodi Fayed, who died in the crash which killed Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, was an executive producer on the original Oscar-winning movie in 1981 after Barbara Broccoli introduced him to her movie contacts. They became good friends, and Dodi Fayed developed a passionate interest in movie-making. ‘Chariots of Fire’ became one of the major hits at the British box office in summer 1981, alongside Roger Moore’s 007 movie ’For Your Eyes Only’.
According to a report in the London ‘Evening Standard’ newspaper (April 19), Broccoli said the true-life story of the rival runners Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams at the 1924 Olympics resonated with Fayed, as it has with audiences since. Broccoli commented: ‘Dodi really identified with the character of Harold Abrahams, a Lithuanian Jew struggling for acceptance in Britain. Dodi had a similar understanding of knowing what it was like to struggle to be accepted. And he really appreciated Eric Liddell’s strong beliefs in not wanting to run on a Sunday. He was very touched by the story’.
The newspaper revealed that Barbara Broccoli is working on the play with Hugh Hudson, the film’s director, whose brainchild it was to produce it on stage. The new play, directed by Edward Hall, will premiere at London’s Hampstead Theatre in May. It will then transfer in June to the Gielgud Theatre, Shaftsbury Avenue, in London’s famous West End.
Meanwhile, rumours continue to circulate about who will sing the main theme for ‘Skyfall’, and Barbara Broccoli was recently drawn into the speculation. When members of the media visited the set of ‘Skyfall’ at Pinewood Studios, they asked the 51-year old producer about the rumours concerning the singer Adele as a possible candidate for the job.
Broccoli said: ‘We haven’t picked a song yet or anyone to sing it’. But 007 himself, Daniel Craig, who was also present, quickly chipped in: ‘What about Adele?’, and Broccoli apparently responded: ‘You know she’s wonderful; we love her. So, it’ll be great if she would do it, but… we haven’t made any decision yet’.