Having been in the pipeline for six years, a second film based on the historic Judgement of Paris blind tasting is to begin filming this autumn.
English actor Tom Hilldeston is hotly tipped to play Steven Spurrier
The film, titled Judgement of Paris, written by Hollywood screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen, will be produced by Kamen and Italian businessman Jonathan Rotella.
Known for his work in the action genre, Kamen has written more than 20 blockbusters, including The Karate Kid, Lethal Weapon 3, and the Taken trilogy.
Judgement of Paris has the backing of both Steven Spurrier, who organised the blind tasting, and George Taber – the only journalist invited to cover the event.
London-born old Etonian Tom Hiddleston, who starred as F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, is hotly tipped to play Spurrier in the film.
“Filming is due to start in September, and this time it’s going to be the true story,” Spurrier told the drinks business.
The first film about the Judgement of Paris – Bottle Shock – was released in 2008 and starred Alan Rickman in the role of Spurrier.
While it was being made, Spurrier threatened to sue the movie’s producers for defamation, saying he found Rickman’s portrayal of him as “an impossibly effete snob” deeply insulting and a gross misrepresentation.
“There is hardly a word that is true in the script and many pure inventions as far as I am concerned,” he said at the time.
screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen is producing the film
Based on Taber’s account of the 1976 tasting in which Californian wines famously trounced their French counterparts, Kamen’s screenplay focuses on Steven Spurrier and Warren Winiarski.
Polish-American Winiarski was the then winemaker of Stag’s Leap in the Napa Valley, responsible for the red that took top honors in the competition.
Kamen described the script as an “American dream” story.
In addition to film work, Kamen also owns Kamen Estate Wines in Sonoma, which he bought after selling his first Hollywood screenplay.
He and Winiarski are close friends, which makes telling the story correctly all the more important.
“I’d really like to see this done right for him,” he said.
Kamen and Rotella struck up a friendship over Rotella’s love of Kamen’s wines.
Last summer, Kamen sent Rotella the Judgement of Paris screenplay, and, having read it four times, he decided he wanted to make the movie.
In 2007, Kamen tried to get the movie made with Clear Pictures Entertainment but the project failed to get off the ground.
Naples-born Rotella runs a chain of hyperbaric medicine clinics in the US.