Calum is a contestant on popular baking television show The Bake. Baking means so much to him he could cry. Before the start of the season, Calum quit his job: he wants to give everything he has to winning The Bake. So when he came across fellow contestant Andy, he was furious. Week after week the show’s judge loves Andy’s bakes. The final straw opens the film. Calum is getting slammed for an insufficiently moist sponge, while Andy is praised to the heavens. Again. And Andy is always so massively smug about it. Calum can’t bear to face the fact that it is Andy, not himself, who will likely win the competition. He knows he has to do something, something radical, to prevent his own failure. At night in the hotel awaiting the next day’s final challenge, the seemingly sweet old contestant Deirdre appears to Calum in a different, far more malevolent guise. She asks him if he wants Andy to be removed. Yes he says, more than anything, the swine. Calum wakes the next day hungover, unsure whether it was a dream. But carnage awaits for Andy on what is to be the final day of The Bake.
I’m using the story of Cain and Abel. I’m transposing this tale of fraternal competition and jealousy into the modern world of the baking show: the brothers become part of the ‘family’ of contestants; God becomes the judge of The Bake; and the sacrifices are the bakes put forward for judgement. This adaptation is to be a dark comedy that uses the emotional underpinning of the Biblical story to retain a strong throughline with Calum, our Cain. Ideas of ambition and professional desperation sit alongside those primal emotions evoked in the Biblical telling. Although it isn’t specifically identified in the Biblical story, I like the idea of seeing Cain/ Calum’s temptation by the Devil/ Deirdre, encouraged to dispense with Abel/ Andy. This will be a powerful scene that evokes Jesus’ temptation in the desert: Cain breaks; Jesus doesn’t. Details from the passage in Genesis will appear as well: Calum’s middling cake at the film’s start will look like a wheat field: the judge will call it unimaginative and unambitious. Andy has made a lamb and has mechanical joints in the cake so the limbs move. I want this to be a playful but truthful adaptation of the original story.