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Story of rise and fall of DeLorean gets the big screen treatment

By Laura Abernethy

Published 11/01/2016

The DeLorean car
The DeLorean car
The car's creator, John DeLorean

The DeLorean car is already a star of the Back to the Future movies - but now the story behind the celebrated sports car is set to get the big screen treatment too.

Good Vibrations screenplay writers - Belfast author Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry - are planning to turn Patterson's new novel Gull, about the story of the DeLorean being built in Belfast, into a movie.

Gull tells the story of American businessman John DeLorean and his Dunmurry-based factory that produced the famous gullwing car between 1978-1982.

Patterson decided to write the new novel after a dream that he was writing "the DeLorean novel" so he got up the next morning and started right away.

He was 17 when the factory opened in Belfast, where he had lived all his life, but he told The Sunday Times that he did not take much notice at the time.

He said: "I grew up very close to the factory, but at the time there was too much else going on in my life. I had no interest in cars.

"Failure just seemed to be normal in Northern Ireland, so there didn't seem to be anything to be getting excited about: and when it failed, when the factory closed, it wasn't a great surprise to me."

But now, at the age of 57, he is able to reflect on the significance of the factory.

Before it closed in 1982, the inexperienced workforce produced 9,000 of the cars, most of them exported to America.

Patterson had started writing a radio play for the BBC about DeLorean before developing the story for a novel and now a film.

Patterson said: "Just the fact they were able to do it seemed to me worthy of record.

"I love the idea that in Back to the Future, it is entirely likely that behind the dashboard with the famous clock on it, somebody has written, 'Up the RA.' I love that secret knowledge."

His book and the film look at DeLorean through the eyes of two main characters - his fixer, a traumatised Vietnam war veteran, and a Belfast woman who tries to get a job at the factory.

Patterson and Carberry co-wrote the screenplay for Bafta nominated Good Vibrations.

Gull goes on sale next week.

Belfast Telegraph

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