Looks Like Speculation About “Brain On Fire” Was Real….

CJw1a8IUYAEmFgrSo often, speculation is just that… speculation. RA had followed Charlize Theron and a couple others involved in the project a few days ago on Twitter. Then this tweet. Looks like he’s already making his notes!

Description from book excerpt:
‘One day, I woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to my bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. My medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which I have no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier I had been a healthy twenty-four year old, six months into my first serious relationship and beginning a career as a cub reporter at the New York Post.

My memoir Brain on Fire chronicles the swift path of my illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving my life. As weeks ticked by and I moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia, $1 million worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit me to the psychiatric ward, in effect condemning me to a lifetime of institutions, or death, until Dr. Souhel Najjar—nicknamed Dr. House—joined my team. He asked me to draw one simple sketch, which became key to diagnosing me with a newly discovered autoimmune disease in which my body was attacking my brain, an illness now thought to be the cause of “demonic possessions” throughout history.’

Charlize Theron will be producing the project, more on that here.

No idea what role Richard will have… did he talk about this in any of the umpteen videos from SDCC that I haven’t watched yet?

Man, I love it when I know he’s staying so busy! And lucky you, Vancouver!!

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86 comments

  1. Pingback: Guess he likes Canada | Me + Richard Armitage
  2. Servetus · July 12, 2015

    he did NOT.

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    • jholland · July 12, 2015

      He must have been looking forward to springing his surprise on everyone! LOL

      Like

      • Servetus · July 12, 2015

        He was not asked, as far as I have noticed, once single time what he’d be doing next — all of his appearances were about Hannibal and so he got like 1-2 questions at most, always about Dolarhyde.

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        • jholland · July 12, 2015

          That makes me wonder if he was planning to announce it at SDCC but never was given the opportunity… then he would have resorted to Twitter, rather. Hmmmm

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        • Servetus · July 12, 2015

          Don’t know, but guessing maybe not — if we go with the “virtuous Armitage” idea, he wouldn’t be blowing his own horn, he’d be focused on why he was there. Then again, maybe he thought he’d be interviewed and asked that and decided to save it just in case he was asked … ?

          Like

        • jholland · July 12, 2015

          Yeah, usually he is asked. I would think he was ready to answer, but not ready to just bring it up without prompting.

          Liked by 2 people

        • cinder · July 13, 2015

          Looks like you’re both right–when asked about what he’s doing next by CraveOnline, he mentions BRAIN ON FIRE as his next project. Also mentions that Carrie Ann Moss is in it–I bet she plays the ex-wife. Also, a great interview in general, the first solo interview I’ve seen with him at Comic-Con, lots of good info and he even brings up his name being mis-pronounced, lol:

          Liked by 1 person

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          Welcome, Cinder. Thanks! That was the first interview I’ve watched from SDCC and definitely worth it!

          Like

  3. Servetus · July 12, 2015

    I wonder if this means he made it to the airport without getting caught by a fan or a photographer … in 2012 he got caught by an autograph merchant. Those were some very sexy photos.

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  4. Perry · July 12, 2015

    I wonder if she was asked to draw a clock.

    Like

    • jholland · July 12, 2015

      Now wouldn’t that be an eerie coincidence…. =) I admit, I’m dying to know what the picture is. I just downloaded the audiobook. Predictably. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      • Perry · July 12, 2015

        In fact, as I posted, it was, indeed, a clock. And she had encephalitis.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jholland · July 12, 2015

          Just read your post… that’s just wild. Armitage is always surrounded by these sorts of weird coincidences. What is it about him? Lol

          Liked by 1 person

        • Perry · July 12, 2015

          Don’t know – but I’m also extremely stoked that his character is going to be living in a Brooklyn brownstone Now all I have to worry about is whether he has a Brooklyn accent. But definitely another American accent.

          Like

        • jholland · July 12, 2015

          Hmmm… that should be interesting…. Brooklyn accent. Yikes. That’s a bit alarming.

          Like

        • Perry · July 12, 2015

          Yes, it is. But any wealthy banker worth his weight in salt would/should have ditched the accent – or maybe he’s not from Brooklyn at all. I’m predicting Park Slope ( where I once lived in a Brownstone) or Brooklyn Heights. We shall see.

          Liked by 1 person

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          The burning question… will they do an “age makeup”… have to say, I’ve wondered about RA with a “silvered” look…

          Liked by 1 person

        • lillianschild · July 13, 2015

          Interestingly enough his mother was an Irish nurse. I wonder if that might show in the way the character speaks…

          Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          I personally don’t think it would create an accent in the son…

          Like

        • Perry · July 13, 2015

          Re accent for the son – no – an Irish mother wouldn’t – but that still leaves the Brooklynese possibility, though, ( and here we just get into speculation) as I said, it is possible or probable that he did not grow up in Brooklyn, but just wound up there. It’s close to Wall Street, there are two tony neighborhoods featuring brownstones, if not more by now, and not that much private housing (houses, I mean) in NYC that don’t cost zillions. I still stick to my original position that his education probably knocked out the worst of the Brooklyn accent ( I know it did mine) – but it still may be very New York.
          We haven’t mentioned the few sentences we heard in the Red Dragon trailer. What did you think? I thought he sounded like RA, but so far, couldn’t really find fault with the American accent. Not that I’m looking for fault. Quite the contrary – I just know he can do it ( better than Into the Storm).

          Like

    • jholland · July 13, 2015

      Re: Accent in the trailer… I thought it was superb. The entire voice was exactly as I’d imagine it for a shy man with a speech impediment. I don’t know you’d even call it an accent so much as a speech pattern, and although I’m no speech therapist, Mom’s a physical therapist and there was a time when she did a lot of work with handicapped kids who would come to our house for their sessions. I remember several with speech impairment from cleft palate-related issues (many times birth defects such as cleft palates come hand in hand with other physical handicaps that require PT) and to me, RA did a really good job with his voice work in the 3 lines of dialogue we heard. In fact, I think the voice work was my favorite thing about the trailer, and that’s saying something because the trailer was superb in general!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Perry · July 13, 2015

        yeah, I don’t know the physiology resulting from a cleft palate repair, but I was sort of relieved that the defect was a sort of whistle shhh and not a lisp thhhh. I thought it was good. And I can’t agree with you more that the trailer was sensational, lived up to my expectation – or even was exactly what I was expecting.

        Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          Yeah, and though I don’t remember the specific description of his speech issue in the book, I know he was particularly sensitive about S sounds, which RA worked out how to do!

          Like

        • Perry · July 13, 2015

          Yes – it was the S. He tried to find other words to substitute ( er, replace)

          Liked by 1 person

  5. fedoralady · July 12, 2015

    Reblogged this on the armitage effect and commented:
    So it looks like our Richard will be working on this project with Charlize Theron as producer—busy man!

    Like

    • jholland · July 12, 2015

      Thanks for the reblog! I love Charlize Theron as an actress, but not sure if I’m familiar with anything she may have produced.

      Like

      • fedoralady · July 12, 2015

        I knew she was into producing now, too, but couldn’t tell you off-hand what she’s done. I really do like her as an actress, too. Not afraid to shave her head or ugly up for a role, either.

        Like

        • jholland · July 12, 2015

          Yes! She’s brilliant. And I love that androgynous beauty she has going on. =)

          Like

        • Esther · July 13, 2015

          Yep, agree with all of this!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. fedoralady · July 12, 2015

    Hey, very intrigued by this and reblogged it at my place, hope you don’t mind. 😀 He does seem happiest when he is busy with a new project . . . I don’t think we have to worry about any long periods of Mr. A “resting” (the euphemism for out-of-work actors, as I recall).

    Like

    • jholland · July 12, 2015

      And hopefully this ensures a steady stream of material in future. Happy for him, happy for us!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. mujertropical · July 12, 2015

    No word on the iMDb as to which role he’ll play. Of course, we all now the book is going to sell more copies now. 😉

    Like

    • jholland · July 12, 2015

      Just saw a post by Servetus that “Big Man” (the title of his notes in the pic he tweeted) is the author’s father. Wonder if he’s a bearded father….

      Liked by 1 person

      • fedoralady · July 12, 2015

        Hmmmm, could be . . . now that I’ve finished putting together all the significant pet and people-related holidays and special events for next year’s pet calendar to send to the publisher (would have already had it done but I got distracted by this Army—TAHHHG guy ) I think I will do a little investigating.

        Like

        • jholland · July 12, 2015

          Yep… I just so happened to finish my current audiobook today. I know what book I’m starting next….

          Like

      • Perry · July 12, 2015

        I think Big Man, though applicable to his size, actually has something to do with the fact that her dd was a hotshot wealthy wall street guy BUT – this is the first time I can recall that we’ve seen a bit of his written notes, or journal for his backstory ( although, he can hardly make up too much of a backstory for a living person.

        Like

        • jholland · July 12, 2015

          Yeah, I loved that. We’ve seen how he puts his little tabs in the Red Dragon book, but no journal notes before that I can recall. Can’t tell from this pic whether the color tabs are there- they could be out of site along the top of the book… So! A wall street big shot. And another dad.

          Like

        • Perry · July 12, 2015

          Whose name we do not know – at least not yet. I couldn’t find it quickly. John?

          Liked by 1 person

        • jholland · July 12, 2015

          Statistically speaking, it’s probable. Lol

          Liked by 1 person

        • fedoralady · July 12, 2015

          “The Man Who Would Play John” 😉 . . . I now have the book on my Nook.

          Quoting preoccupiedwitharmitage

          : jholland commented: “Statistically speaking, it’s probable. Lol”

          Like

        • lillianschild · July 13, 2015

          The character’s name is Tom Cahalan.

          Liked by 1 person

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          OK, now we’re cooking! Love how fast the fandom gets to work… Thanks, lillianschild!

          Like

        • Perry · July 13, 2015

          Thank you for this. I’ve had no success finding his first name.

          Like

        • lillianschild · July 13, 2015

          I read it in one sitting last night.

          I think we’re going to fall in love with another RA character. He’s so great at playing sensitive, nurturing and protective roles. Plus, Tom is also emotionally repressed and wounded (the first time he got a hug from his dad was just before his father passed away). He’s an emotional ticking bomb ready to go off.

          Many things about this character remind me of John Porter with Katie and Lexy. Not only is he fiercely protective and comforting, he’s also got a dangerous streak that he works hard to control. There’s one scene in particular where he goes ballistic at the hospital which has a certain echo of JP’s temper exploding when meeting Bratton for a job.

          Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          Emotionally repressed, wounded, dangerous streak in addition to protective and comforting… this role is just sounding more interesting by the minute!

          Like

        • fedoralady · July 13, 2015

          I am quite excited about it myself. It is also going to be a real challenge for Chloe Grace as Susannah—to go from the bright, bubbly, outgoing and ambitious reporter to a frail, sick girl riddled with paranoia, plagued by delusions and hallucinations, seizures and loss of short-term memory. She says she is one of the lucky ones because she did get the proper medical treatment in time in spite of some early failures by physicians to discover what was wrong. And she had insurance through the newspaper—a good thing when your medical bills top $1 million. Her parents were also in a position to help her with out-of-pocket expenses until she could get on her feet again. Susannah is fully aware others with the same condition do not have the financial or moral support behind them that she did.

          Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          I’ve never heard of the actress, though looking at her IMDB page I realized I was a little interested in “If I Stay” but I ended up deciding to wait until it came out on HBO or one of the streaming services, then I guess I forgot about it. It’s going to be a very challenging role, so good for her, to get something so “meaty” as a young actress!

          Like

        • fedoralady · July 13, 2015

          Lillianschild I didn’t mean to repeat what you said, I am just working my way through the comments after my email issues finally got fixed (it is good to know the right people in the right places, a plus of small town life). Yes, I also thought of Porter and his intensity when Tom tells off those medical students. He may have difficulty displaying affection, but there is no doubt he has a deep love for and desire to help his daughter.

          Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          It does sound like a role where we’ll fall a bit in love with the character. Not that we have any trouble falling in love with any of his characters… even Dolarhyde’s not entirely safe. =)

          Like

  8. lillianschild · July 12, 2015

    He’s given us a big clue by showing that diary entry. No doubt he’s playing the leading character’s dad- Big Man. bit.ly/1Hpq90E

    Like

  9. Pingback: Co-inkydinky Armitage Work | Armitage Agonistes
  10. jholland · July 12, 2015

    Thanks to Perry… another great link with some of the story we can delve into:http://www.npr.org/2012/11/14/165115921/a-young-reporter-chronicles-her-brain-on-fire

    Like

    • fedoralady · July 12, 2015

      Oh, Chloe Grace Moretz is supposed to play the daughter—I really like her. She was in the English language version of “Let the Right One In.” Very talented young actress.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Peggy Kincaid · July 13, 2015

    I read the book some time ago and it is really very good and a bit scary.

    Like

    • jholland · July 13, 2015

      I can imagine! Scary for her, scary for the family. Should be an interesting movie, in the hands of the right people!

      Like

  12. Esther · July 13, 2015

    Sounds like a great project! Have already downloaded the book for my e-reader for when I go on holiday in two weeks. 🙂

    Like

    • jholland · July 13, 2015

      Yes, seems like it would be a story that needs to be told, and lots of drama!

      Like

  13. Guylty · July 13, 2015

    Thanks for that, J – and all the extra info. I loved seeing a sample of RA’s handwriting in the tweeted picture. Nicely regular – an artistic streak? 😉
    This project is really interesting to me, especially because I accompanied a friend through a very difficult time a few years ago when her daughter basically went through *exactly* the same thing as Cahalan. It was a scary time for the girl, for her family, and for the friends who witnessed it. At the time it happened, very very little was known about encephalitis. A support group had been established already, but it was based in the US, and the material as well as the medical articles on the condition were all in English. Since my friend is German, she asked me to translate documents for her, hence I got an in-depth look at the condition – and am now doubly interested in this new project of RA’s. Good to know, however, that *he*, playing the father, will be only on the margins of the “madness”. But I expect there will be much scope for very emotional scenes. (I still get goose-pimples when I think about my friend’s girl and the fear will all had for her…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · July 13, 2015

      Oh, wow! Is your friend’s daughter on an even keel now? That really is scary. To imagine going from normal to psychotic then catatonic in a short time frame… anyone’s nightmare. And yeah, RA could potentially have a lot of emotional weight in this role. As a parent, I can’t imagine how painful it would be to watch your child go through this, especially with no answers or explanations from the medical community!

      Like

      • Guylty · July 13, 2015

        Yes, she is fine now. But there was a period of at least six months when she was unstable and despite the eventual diagnosis things did not seem to progress back to normal. It was a time of high emotion which my friend got through by engaging actively with the medical and lay community in the field. The girl is now in her mid-20s, healthy, and recently got married.

        Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          I’m so relieved to hear that. Autoimmune diseases can so often be a lifelong struggle, and man, anything that attacks the brain is just that much more ominous.

          Liked by 1 person

        • fedoralady · July 13, 2015

          It seems that 25 percent of the people with this type of encephalitis never actually get back to where they were before the condition, so the fact she is now doing this well is truly wonderful to hear!

          Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          That’s a scary statistic!

          Like

        • fedoralady · July 13, 2015

          It is highly treatable but the problem is getting diagnosed in time, it seems. The family of one girl who was going through the same thing saw either her original article about it in the Post or the first edition of her book, and the father later told Susannah he was certain his daughter would be dead now if she hadn’t shared her experiences. At least it is better known now. When she was diagnosed Susannah was only the 271st person IN THE WORLD to be diagnosed with this type of encephalitis.

          Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          Yeah, it has to be a rare situation. I always feel so sorry for the patients and families when watching these medical dramas about rare conditions because it’s so often misdiagnosed and treated inappropriately, leading sometimes to other problems as a result of medications/procedures that were never necessary in the first place! I guess there’s no way to know yet whether this film will have a big distribution, but I would imagine that bringing the story to the big screen would also spread awareness.

          Like

        • Guylty · July 14, 2015

          Oh wow, is the rate that bad??? Makes it sound even more than a miracle now that she survived and bounced back!

          Like

        • fedoralady · July 14, 2015

          According to Calahan’s research, yep, those are the stats. A miracle, indeed. 😀

          Like

  14. Helen · July 13, 2015

    Excellent news. Thanks to all for all the sleuthing 🙂 I’m having mental flashbacks to loving father John Porter and all those wonderful hugs 🙂

    Like

  15. Hariclea · July 13, 2015

    This is looking more interesting by the minute. I love these sort of medical mystery things, especially if they have a positive outcome and ended up helping many people fundamentally who couldn’t get help before.
    And i like the fact that he will play the father, a different role altogether, we’re getting a real good variety lately and that makes me really happy 🙂 Another one to get and take with me on upcoming work travel,question is if i’ll get all the reading in but you’ve actually put me up to a nice idea, i still have some audible points i need to use up as i#ll need a break from too much screen time and this is a good way to still be reading in the evenings 🙂

    Like

    • jholland · July 13, 2015

      Yeah, I love medical dramas, too. I hope the narrator is good on the audiobook… I clicked “BUY” without even looking at reviews (though I think it was 4/5 stars!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hariclea · July 13, 2015

        doesn’t seem to be available in the UK, is it under a different name than Brain on fire? Also i just got very angry because i had to cancel the monthly membership and i had 7 credits.. and it turns out they cancelled those.. which is unfair because i had paid for them but not used them :-((((

        Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          That’s unfair! I have had success with Audible before, though… one time I was so fast on the click that I purchased those valentine’s poems (using a credit) read by Richard before Audible had time to change the settings to “free download”… when I contacted them, they reinstated the credit. So it’s worth a try. Don’t know if there is any other title for the book, though… it might be a moot point if it’s not available in UK.

          Like

        • Hariclea · July 13, 2015

          i’ll dig again and may email, i can’t afford to reinstate the membership at the moment, sigh grrr But i’ll buy this one as a one off, may wait another month depending on the price though.. It would be strange if it weren’t available here though.. hm

          Like

    • fedoralady · July 13, 2015

      I finished reading the book this morning. It’s truly a harrowing account of what she went through trying to get properly diagnosed and treated. Susannah and her father had not been very close, unlike her relationship with her mother (they were divorced and remarried and basically avoided all contact with one another until their daughter’s illness). But we see how fiercely protective of his daughter he is, how determined he is to see her get better, and there are moments when even this strong, no-nonsense man breaks down over what his child is going through.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jholland · July 13, 2015

        Oh, that’s music to my ears… fiercely protective dad, breaking down… I can hardly stand it when a man cries. In my practice, it’s not that I don’t empathize with crying pet “moms”, but I can usually keep it together. Let the pet “dad” start crying, though… and I’m toast. I can’t wait!

        Like

        • fedoralady · July 13, 2015

          Yes, he is frightened—your only daughter, grown painfully thin, with electrodes all over her head, thinking the world is out to get her, fighting off medical personnel, and you are really afraid she is going to be like this long-term or even die. And at one point, a group of medical students who come to gawk at the “rare case” in this teaching hospital while Tom Calahan is there and boy, does he read them the riot act. I love it—It’s just what I’d expect a caring dad in such a situation to do. So there’s roaring and cursing and a father’s tears, too. Richard plays angst so well, as we know.

          Like

        • jholland · July 13, 2015

          I can’t imagine they wouldn’t include that scene with the medical students, so in all likelihood we’ll get to watch RA explode in fiercely protective fatherly anger! Yes, this should be wonderful.

          Like

        • fedoralady · July 13, 2015

          It’s too good a dramatic moment not to include.

          Like

      • Hariclea · July 13, 2015

        ohhhh, sounds wonderfully human and vulnerable, a great change of pace from other roles 🙂

        Like

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