If you’re a fan of seeing your home country in the worst possible situation, and your home country happens to be Britain, well, then you are in luck. According to The Hollywood Reprtorer, Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian are planning a big screen version of the 2003 BBC pseudodocumentary “The Day Britain Stopped.”
It’s a disaster story. About traffic. Yes, I know, you’re thinking, “A disaster movie about traffic? What, is it about my commute home yesterday?” No, though I’m sure that would make a good movie, too. Rather, here’s the BBC’s description:
In the film, Britain is facing a national crisis by the end of 2003; the country’s transport infrastructure is unable to cope with the traffic volumes it faced on a daily basis.
Our roads are the most congested in Europe, our skies the busiest in the world and the rail network is lurching from disaster to disaster.
Total collapse of all these systems was just around the corner – the warning signs were there, but they were all ignored.
19 December, 2003 is the last Friday before Christmas; one of the busiest days for the UK’s roads.
In the drama, the day starts with the first of a series of 24-hour national rail strikes, following on from a fatal rail disaster at Waverley, Edinburgh. The strike pushed even more traffic on the roads.
By early afternoon the M25 is at a standstill following two accidents, and across the country minor incidents cause pockets of ever-growing gridlock from Scotland to the West Country.
By evening, hundreds of thousands of motorists are stranded in sub-zero temperatures and the police are forced to implement Operation Gridlock; a contingency plan intended solely for use in a humanitarian crisis.
The gridlock means passengers are unable to make their flights and hundreds of essential workers, including doctors, nurses, pilots and air traffic controllers, are unable to reach their place of work.
Understaffed and overloaded one air traffic controller makes a tiny mistake with devastating consequences.
At 22:28 the disaster many had predicted finally struck when a passenger jet collided with a Czech freight plane over Hounslow, killing all passengers and crew.
Scott and Zaillian say the movie will be “inspired by” rather than a remake of the TV version. They are looking for a writer for it, with a focus on the idea “using a manmade disaster to ignite a global catastrophe. Scott and Zaillian previously worked together on “American Gangster,” respectively directing and writing. So far all they’re booked for here is producing. So far.