On the BBC Newscast podcast last night, Richard Curtis and Emma Freud popped by for a special Christmas episode to talk about pop and politics. And also to revisit the likes of Love Actually, and that Richard Curtis is currently working on an animated film version of his kids Christmas books set in Suffolk, The Empty Stocking. And that he is currently trying to cast a Father Christmas for the movie.
The Empty Stocking is based on three books by Curtis, The Empty Stocking, Snow Day and That Christmas, each telling a family story taking place in the run-up to Christmas, in a rural coastal town. And the film will chop the books up and layer them into one story, with different families. Hence Emma Freud, his wife, described the resulting film as "Love Actually for kids".
Richard Curtis has written The Empty Stocking with Peter Souter. The animation house Locksmith are working on the film, with illustrator Rebecca Cobb.
Freud also shared with her own perspective on watching Succession, as her brother Matthew Freud used to be married to Emma Murdoch, so basically is Matthew McAdden's character in the show.
While Richard Curtis revealed that he had planned a little cross-continuity with his most recent film, Yesterday, casting Rhys Ifans again as Spike from his Notting Hill days – but that director Danny Boyle cut him out.
Here are the descriptions of the three books that will make up the film.
The Empty Stocking – a brilliantly funny Christmas story by Richard Curtis and Rebecca Cobb. In this fantastically funny and heartwarming story by Richard Curtis, scriptwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually, it's Christmas Eve and there's one very important question on everyone's mind – have YOU been good this year? For twins Sam and Charlie this is a big worry. Charlie has been especially naughty and everyone is sure that she won't get any presents AT ALL. But when Santa makes a mistake, it's up to Charlie to put things right…
A snowy day, a deserted school and the teacher you least want to see. Welcome to Snow Day, the most magical day of the year . . . When Danny goes to school one quiet, snowy morning, the last thing he expects to find is a deserted school and his least favourite teacher. But that's exactly what he does find. And what starts as the worst day imaginable, ends as the most life-affirming and magical day of the year. An incredibly moving story about finding friendship in the most unexpected of places from Richard Curtis and Rebecca Cobb.
and That Christmas
Christmas is the same every year, isn't it? Same food, same routine, same visiting the neighbours and going for a walk. Except for the year of That Christmas… Find out what happens when traditions are upturned, when chaos reigns, and what's really important when people come together…