In the movie ARGO, directed by Ben Affleck and produced by George Clooney, six hostages are rescued from Tehran by a CIA operative named Tony Mendez, who engineers their escape by posing as a film producer scouting locations (while pretending that the six are also filmmakers from Canada by providing them with fake passports.) In the offbeat adventure novel LOTTERY ISLAND--in which George Clooney has a cameo role--the son of a lottery winner must be rescued from a corrupt Caribbean island dictator by his father and a team of hired mercenaries. Jude Johnstone, a tabloid reporter, rejoins his former photographer buddy Grover to plan the assault with Howard Rosen's funding. To get into Governor Frolonzo's good graces they will pretend to be producers scouting locations for a Survivor-type game show and possible movie. If they fail, they could be shark food!
In addition to the hostage situation, the novel has Hollywood satire, romance, and is partly based on the true story of the late John Caldwell, who once sailed around the world, bought Palm Island for a song on a 99 year lease from the government of St. Vincent (at $1 a year, plus 12%), and spent 20 years developing it into a paradise. John had to fight for it, too, when renegades came over from Union to take it…he and his boys fought them off with Enfield rifles. Then, during the Grenada invasion, Caldwell aided the Marines with a place to park their helicopters. I interviewed him on Palm and wrote articles on him for Cruising World, Adventure Travel, and Real People magazines. John planted thousands of palm trees all over the Grenadines, earning himself the nickname "Coconut Johnny." (Before he arrived the place was called "Prune Island," a hellish place infested with mosquitoes. Later, he turned down millions for it. "Where could I go that's better than this?" he asked.)
Kevin Reem, a former Disney producer, said, "Very enjoyable, lots of twists and turns…it would make a great film."
Which title do you prefer: Lottery Island or Jackpot Island? Plot: A lottery winner engineers his own disappearance with the intent to reemerge a hero for financing a coup attempt against a corrupt Caribbean island dictator, extending his 15 minutes of fame into a lifetime.