Films

Producer of Amy rumored to be making Tony Blair documentary

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Ryan Young
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Tony Blair - once the political version of marmite during his time as PM (although now it’s probably more so hate than love), is rumored to be the subject of an upcoming documentary.

Following reports surfacing from The Telegraph, Blair’s staff have reportedly been meeting with producer James Gay-Rees (Amy, Senna, Supersonic) about turning the infamous oil-slick-rick into a figure for the big screen.

Gay-Rees, who most recently won an Oscar for his documentary Amy on the life of the late Amy Winehouse reportedly met at Blair’s offices in Grosvenor Square, London, sometime before Christmas.

A source told the newspaper: “Blair’s people met with James Gay-Rees. It got to the stage of Blair’s people saying what about making a documentary around Tony. They were really keen on the idea. It just ticks all the boxes.

“If you look at everything that James has done, he has focused on really interesting people.”

There have been rumours of a return to politics for Blair

It’s an interesting topic to say the least: Blair was the youngest Prime Minister in almost 200 years when he took the position in 1997, and with each electoral victory he won with a landslide. It was then six years after he was first sworn in as PM that he made the decision to invade Iraq, a war surrounded with plenty of skepticism and which the legitimacy of the UK’s involvement has been queried and criticised ever since.

Having said that, Blair also passed a great law and created one of the finest gifts for both the public and the media: the Freedom of Information Act (2004). This essentially allows anyone to request information from any government funded public body. He later admitted to regretting the decision, stating that: “for political leaders, it’s like saying to someone who is hitting you over the head with a stick, ‘Hey, try this instead’ and handing them a mallet.” as it gave way to  immense revelations such as the expenses scandal and that amazing headline over how one MP in particular used tax payers money to pay for his moat to be cleaned.

It would come at an interesting time for Blair, who’s slowly crept back into the public sphere over recent months with critical comments on Brexit and whirlwind rumours he may be returning to challenge current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Riding the crest of the New Labour wave in 1997

Of course there’s also been widening speculation of Blair’s involvement in the oil world and his relationship with the Saudi Arabians. As a peace envoy to the Middle East, his role was as an intermediary and to open doors to allow for future deals to take place. However, The Guardian later reported that Blair was critical in advising investments and with one agreement in particular, was paid a commission for any further deals which may have arose.

The late Amy Winehouse. Credit: Rex Images

Having not only produced Amy but Senna (around the life and death of the titular Brazilian F1 driver) and more recently Supersonic (a music feature on Oasis), the possibility of a documentary revealing new information about the lucrative on-goings in the life of the former PM would be rather high in the hands of Gay-Rees.

However, a spokesman for Mr. Blair told The Telegraph: “We receive many requests from documentary makers on a variety of subjects, but have neither sought nor agreed to do anything of the nature you describe.”

Tellingly, Mr. Gay-Rees added: “We have not been asked to do anything by Tony Blair’s office nor refused anything.”

It would also not be the first film about Blair. Labour MP George Galloway produced an unofficial crowdfunded documentary entitled The Killings of Tony Blair. We’re going out on a limb and saying that any film from Gay-Rees would opt for a somewhat subtler title.