Polanski parallels won’t haunt Ghost Writer

A former British prime minister, haunted by ghosts from his past, is holed up in his exclusive compound waiting to be indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

It’s a gripping plotline; one that attracted and probably resonated with Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, recently released from house arrest in Switzerland when the Swiss denied an American extradition bid to get him back to the US to face child sex charges dating back to 1977.

But the film’s star actor, Ewan McGregor, is reticent when it comes to the real-life parallels in Polanski’s new thriller The Ghost Writer, which the director was forced to complete from his alpine villa in Switzerland.

“Yes, when we were shooting … (the plot) seemed to be relevant to his situation at the time, in that he lived in France and he wasn’t able to travel to certain countries,” McGregor told ABC News Online.

“However it wasn’t a scene that Polanski wrote or put in there. It was a scene that was in the book long before Polanski was going to be involved.

“It’s coincidental,” McGregor concludes.

The film is based on Robert Harris’ novel The Ghost. The screenplay was co-written by Harris and Polanksi.

McGregor stars as the unnamed scribe who is made an offer he can’t refuse.

He must travel to the United States to pen the memoirs of former British prime minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) after the original ghost writer dies in an unfortunate accident. Or so it would seem.

Polanski was unable to shoot on location at Martha’s Vineyard off Cape Cod on the east coast of America, where the novel is set.

But he still needed a windswept seaside backdrop – he wanted the weather to become a character unto itself, according to McGregor – so the shoot had to be moved to the coast of Germany.

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