“Mr Franco is really excited to meet you Mr. Miéville, he’s a huge fan of your books, and the chance to work with you on a screenplay…” As James Franco’s gushing assistant trailed off, China Miéville maintained a tactful silence. He was taking this meeting at the desperate behest of his agent, a man for whom the size of the pot from which his fifteen percent was taken was a constant preoccupation. But his agent was late, and China Miéville was left to fend for himself amidst the steady stream of vaguely obsequious tinseltown inanities as he followed the labyrinthine path of the assistant.
Fortunately, by the time they reached the meeting room China Miéville’s agent was there, exchanging mutually aggrandising platitudes with the youthful looking actor like a practised professional.
“Hey guy. Pleasure to meet you.” China Miéville bristled imperceptibly at the colloquialism as they shook hands. “It’s always good to meet another writer, am I right?”
“Right writer, right?” Chipped in the assistant needlessly.
China Miéville, more perplexed than actually bored, felt his attention drift as they talked about adapting his work for the screen.
A few minutes later, no more than fifteen anyway, he suddenly came back to the conversation as his agent groaned thickly and slumped back in his chair. James Franco was on his feet, knuckles already reddening from the punch he had thrown.
“Want to tell me you’ve got reservations about letting someone else handle the screenplay solo, do you?!” He was screaming at the agent’s dazed body. Lacking the reaction he needed he turned his attention to China Miéville.
“Got a problem limey?”
Taking the silence as a slur, James Franco grabbed the front of China Miéville’s t-shirt and leant in to scream directly into his face
“I. AM. A. GODDAMNED. WRITER.”
As he reared back, preparing to land a head butt, China Miéville craned his neck so that James Franco’s nose met his, Miéville’s forehead with some force. James Franco staggered back, eyes watering and nose bleeding. He collapsed to the floor and wept in wracking sobs. As his assistant hurried to dab at the blood with a silk handkerchief China Miéville lifted his agent and carried him out to his car.
WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE