Star director wanted Chess Magnus for a Hollywood film
... and a rich Russians wanted to pay the 21-year-old more than 100,000 Kroner for a chess game
The leading Norwegian newspaper VG Nett reports thar American film and television producer Jeffrey Jacob "JJ" Abrams has become so fascinated by Magnus Carlsen that he wanted the 21-year-old Norwegian grandmaster (and world number one) on the cast of the blockbuster movie Star Trek 2. This came after Carlsen's appearance in the prestigious 60 Minutes on American television screens on February 19. Abrams wanted Magnus in the role of a chess player from the future. The new Star Trek movie is expected in theaters in 2013.
We remind you that JJ Abrams (photo above by David Shankbone) is well known for his work in action, drama, and science fiction. He wrote and produced feature films before co-creating the television series Felicity (1998–2002). He also created Alias (2001–2006) and co-created Lost (2004–2010), Fringe (2008–present), Undercovers (2010) and produced the television series Person of Interest (2011–present) and Alcatraz (2012-present). Abrams directed the films Mission: Impossible III (2006), Star Trek (2009), and Super 8 (2011 – a film we recently watched and enjoyed tremendously). Abrrams also produced the films Cloverfield (2008), Morning Glory (2010) and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011). Many of his films he directed/produced are by Paramount, while many of his television series were co-produced by Warner Bros.
Film buff Carlsen reacted very positively to the offer (surprise, surprise!). "The inquiry was completely unexpected," he told VG Nett. "It would have been a fun experience, so it's a shame that it will not happen." Why on earth not?? Well, according to the Star Trek production company it is not possible to get a work permit for Carlsen in the United States in time for shooting this spring. But Magnus was invited to visit the set. The Star Trek team invited him to come as a guest, when the deal fell through. The chess champion thankfully declined.
Guest on major talk show
His US trip is, however, still on, and Magnus recently agreed to be on the American satirical Colbert Report on April 24. Colbert has had the likes of President Barack Obama and Beatle Paul McCartney on his show. Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. In the Colbert Report (or Colber Repor – both ts are supposed to silent) he pretends to be a conservative talk show host and political pundit. "It will be interesting, it's something different," Carlsen told VG Nett.
Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein says that the interest in the Norwegian chess ace is generally very high at the moment. "There are very many inquiries, all the time, both from the international press and others. This means that we have to fit in media days in foreign countries, plus take a few business meetings. But mostly, we have to say no to many offers."
For instance: some rich Russians offered offered several hundred thousand Kroner (100,000 Norwegian Kroner translates to 13,138 Euros or US $17,234) for a game against Magnus. But Magnus does not do things like that just for the money – only if it is interesting. Playing a full game with classical time controls against a weak opponent is too boring, explains Agdestein, sums up his client's philosophy: To keep it simple for ourselves we wish to reserve the type of activities for Magnus's main sponsors. There must be something extraordinary for us to deviate from our main strategy.
Promotion as a model for G-Star – Carlsen got the job after Johnny Depp declined – has served Magnus well. His company Magnus Chess AS grossed 8.4 million Kroner in 2010 (that's 1.1 million Euro or US $1.5 million, folks). Although revenue last year was somewhat lower, Carlsen still earns good money as the world's number one chess player.