It was a battle between two of the United States’ most iconic brands – and now could be recounted in a film made by Curb Your Enthusiasm producer Robert B Weide.
Weide, who has written and directed Sky Atlantic’s new Nick Frost series Mr Sloane, tells RadioTimes.com that he is working on the movie chronicling the battle between Pepsi and Coke in the 1980’s which culminated in Coke’s ill-fated decision to change its recipe in 1985.
The film, which currently has the working title Cola Wars, does not yet have a producer but is being written as a boardroom comedy.
The story focuses on the commercial rivalry between Coke and Pepsi in the 1980s when Pepsi began to challenge Coke’s dominance with their Michael Jackson-fronted commercials. And depending on how things pan out, Weide has some thoughts about who could play one of his leading men…
“I see it as an HBO-s movie, the producers see it as a feature film so my stock line is that it’s an HBO movie unless George Clooney wants to do it and then it’s a feature film,” said Weide, with a laugh.
“It might be called Cola Wars but I’m not certain yet
Weide later clarified that it was not an actual HBO movie but an HBO-style film.
Weide said the film will reveal much about the workings of America and the importance attached to commercial brands. On the well-documented backlash against Coke he said: “It was that American thing of ‘don’t screw with our stuff’. It was like changing the stars on the flag to yellow. These were American things and they didn’t want their Coke messed with. They thought it was a Communist conspiracy to screw up their traditions.”
Mr Sloane, Weide’s series for Sky Atlantic, will air this coming Friday [23 March].
The six-part series, which has already gained critical acclaim from previewers, is set in 1969 and sees Spaced, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End star Nick Frost play the part of Jeremy Sloane, a likable but slightly hapless accountant who is trying to get his life back on track after losing his job and seeing his wife (played by Olivia Colman) walk out on him.
Weide said he was keen to recruit Colman to the cast because he admired her work on British TV, having first seen her in Channel 4 comedy Peep Show playing Mark’s girlfriend Sophie (see picture below of Weide directing Colman and Frost on the set of Mr Sloane).
Episode one of Mr Sloane airs on Friday 23 May at 9pm