A Ronnie O’Sullivan documentary is being shot at the World Snooker Championships this year, and we now know that only one man can prevent it from getting the Hollywood ending it seems destined for. Judd Trump.
O’Sullivan’s life has been pretty well documented for the last 30 years, but the cameras have been following him intensely around Crucible for the last 15 days, making what is sure to be a hugely popular piece of work.
The Rocket has revealed that the crew has had access to all areas, and he has even had a microphone in the West while playing, to capture every last utterance of the big man at the table.
The filmmakers have enjoyed the 46-year-old making it to an eighth World Cup final, beating a number of fine players along the way with apparent ease at every turn.
Dave Gilbert, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire and John Higgins all failed to put much of a glove on O’Sullivan as he has rolled into the final with barely a step out of place.
A seventh world title is only 18 pictures away from him now, which would really be the ideal ending to his film. Captures the one meaningful record in snooker that has eluded him to date – Stephen Hendry’s seven Crucible triumphs.
It would be very unlikely that he admitted it – in fact, he said before the tournament that he ‘could not give a monkey if he was bombed out in the first round’ – but the attraction of all this gathering on film has seemed to to give the rocket a razor-sharp focus we do not always see from him.
Aside from the weird, silly interview, it’s been everything for O’Sullivan in this tournament, playing all the right punches at all the right times and generally getting them right, too.
Even when his tips have bothered him and he has appeared to have serious issues with the purity of the cue ball, it has not affected his focus and how well he has played.
It is undisturbed, fully focused, well prepared and high quality O’Sullivan. The professional model is ready to sign her final scene by lifting the trophy, writing history and bowing to her adoring audience while the curtain falls on the crucible.
Unless there is a serious twist in the narrative. At the moment, this seems to be a movie in the form of James Bond. Okay, he’s going to be shot pretty much and his car can be blown up, but we know he’ll make it in the end and win the day because it’s a movie. There is drama along the way, but there is no real danger.
Judd Trump has the chance to turn it all upside down, tear up the script and slam a new one on the director’s desk, which sees O’Sullivan give the loser’s speech and Esset hold the famous trophy up.
There are no guarantees in sports, and when I think about it, James Bond actually finished the last film in a rather sticky situation, so even on the screen, things can fall apart pretty quickly at the finale.
But can Trump fill the role of the ultimate villain? Mark Williams entertainingly answered that very question after he was beaten 17-16 by Judd on Saturday.
“I’ve been asked some stupid questions in my time, but it’s up there,” the Welshman said. “Of course he can win the one, there is no doubt.”
Instead of jumping through the rounds so far as O’Sullivan, Trump has trotted through them at times, not playing his best stuff, but slowly improving through the event.
He came to Crucible out of shape, lacking faith and apparently out of love for the game, but hard fought victories over e.g. Anthony McGill and Williams have put something back in the 32-year-old.
“Incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved,” he said after beating Williams. ‘I came here without expecting anything. Honestly, I did not expect to win my first match.
– As the tournament has gone, I have started to hit the ball better and better. Against McGill he really pushed me and I started playing well. If I can get off to a good start, I really think my best game is very close. ‘
The Bristolian enters as an underdog, as one would expect against the play’s hero, knowing that he will fulfill the role of the evil guy against Rocket.
Ronnie O’Sullivan was Trump’s own hero when he was growing up, his snooker idol, and part of the reason we see him play the exciting, attacking game he makes.
‘We both go for our shots and we both go to win the match on a visit. “I think this is where we are very similar,” O’Sullivan told tournament sponsors Betfred of Trump.
‘He will win a frame on one visit, I will win a frame on one visit.
‘Sometimes we have to pull shots out of the bag to keep the break going while other players can save out and play a bit of safety. So we’ve got a similar mindset. ‘
The story gets juicier and juicier ahead of the epic last scenes of Trump, where Trump seeks to overthrow his idol with a brand snooker inspired by his opponent, proving that he is now the most powerful force in the game and he can look down from his exalted sit on the man he has always looked up to.
It’s a fascinating story in itself, but it’s not the one that seems to be unfolding at the melting pot this year.
O’Sullivan is always the star of the snooker show and seems ready to deliver his piece of resistance on the sport’s biggest stage.
Long regarded as his heir as the game’s leading man, Trump’s mission is to ruin his hero’s party and take the curtain call for himself.
A happy ending to O’Sullivan’s story or a Trump-inspired tragedy? Two more days of Crucible drama and we’ll find out.
MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan says he was ‘uneasy’ during the Crucible semi-final victory over John Higgins
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