A private investigator turned professional ‘funeral-crasher’ is set to become the next big thing in Hollywood after landing a book deal, a reality television show and a movie contract with Paramount Pictures.
Bill Edgar, 53, from the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia secured the lucrative contracts after word got out about his unusual line of work.
Mr Edgar fell into gate-crashing burials in early 2018 after a dying man randomly requested he interrupt his funeral to confront his best mate who had tried to ‘screw’ his wife.
He knew his days as a PI were numbered when word got around about the bizarre last request and the ‘Coffin Confessor’ went viral.
Bill Edgar (pictured) has secured a deal with Paramount Pictures in the USA to make a movie about his bizarre job crashing funerals
Mr Edgar turned the idea into a thriving business divulging his dead clients’ explosive secrets to their families during burials and will readings and now he is set to crack the big screen.
The Coffin Confessor proved to be a huge media hit with Mr Edgar inundated with interviews from around the world.
An interview with Good Morning Britain late in 2018 proved pivotal in his celluloid success after the segment caught the attention of US based celebrity agent, Steve Mandell.
Mr Mandell, based in Chicago, represents some of the world’s biggest media personalities and sports athletes including Oprah Winfrey, Stedman Graham and Adam Sandler.
Mr Edgar is hired to attend funerals and will readings on behalf of dead people to spill their deepest secrets to loved ones
Yet the deal was almost dead and buried when Mr Mandell, who called to introduce himself to the Coffin Confessor at 2.30am Australian time, was told by Mr Edgar to ‘f*ck off’.
‘It was 2.30 in the morning. I didn’t want to talk to him’. Mr Edgar said.
‘I’d been inundated with other calls from the US and I got 4,000 emails that day after appearing on Good Morning Britain, so I just wasn’t interested’.
Not to be deterred, Mr Mandell successfully called back again at 7am.
‘He said, listen Bill, that was the best phone call I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve never been told to f*ck off. And I said, well you have now,’ Mr Edgar said.
Mr Mandell signed him on the spot, and within weeks had secured a movie deal with Paramount Pictures, currently casting the lead role of Mr Edgar.
Although potential actors considered include Mark Wahlburg, Ben Affleck, Vin Diesel and Vince Vaughn, Mr Edgar has one particular actor in mind to play him.
‘If it was my choice, Ryan Reynolds is the number one pick for me, for sure,’ Mr Edgar said.
‘He is pretty black and white and he can be dark and humorous at the same time. He is a lot like me’.
Mr Edgar goes by the name the Coffin Confessor which caught the attention of US celebrity agent Steve Mandell after an interview with Good Morning Britain in late 2018
Mr Mandell went on to additionally firm up a reality show with Endemol Shine’s North American production company, Truly Original.
The Coffin Confessor has further signed a contract to create a drama series backed by one of Australia’s leading and award-winning television producers John McAvoy. Greg Haddrick of Underbelly and Pine Gap fame is to aptly pen the series.
When Mr McAvoy was first contacted by Mr Edgar explaining his work crashing funerals, he was immediately interested in working with him.
‘Bill first contacted me over email explaining about his work crashing funerals and I was immediately intrigued, to say the very least’, Mr McAvoy said.
‘I emailed him back straight away saying, ‘OK, you’ve got my attention.
‘As I am always on the lookout for amazing stories and interesting characters, I liked Bill.
Mr Edgar wants Ryan Reynolds (pictured with wife Blake Lively) to portray him on the big screen
‘Despite the shock factor around what he is doing, what people don’t realise is that Bill is incredibly selective in who he decides to take on as a client and he is genuinely wanting to help people.
‘Many don’t realise he always works in tandem with the (funeral client’s) family.
‘He is not some rough kind of ‘gun for hire’ who will do anything for anybody.’
Initially, most clients who made contact with Mr Edgar were those who were aware of their imminent death, but since Covid-19, business has boomed thanks to healthy people with a death wish.
‘Through the pandemic, everybody has been more open to death and speaking about it more and they want to leave a message for their loved ones’. Mr Edgar said.
‘So it’s really a 70/30 thing at the moment. Covid’s been great for business. Absolutely.
‘You’ve got these people that are pre planning not funerals but pre planning what they are going to say to their loved ones, the ones they love and the ones they love to hate. So it’s been great.’
Bill Edgar’s highly-anticipated book The Coffin Confessor (pictured) is being published by Penguin Australia this week and will be available for download on Booktopia
Mr Edgar is convinced his business performs a community service in creating a conversation about death.
‘I’m very excited to open the dialogue of death because it shouldn’t be taboo. We’re all there. We’re all going to die so stop being so fearful of it’. he said.
Book publisher Penguin Australia contacted Mr Edgar and has commissioned a ghost writer to help pen his stranger-than-fiction true life story.
The book, titled The Coffin Confessor, ‘A true story of life, death and every secret in between’, will be available in book stores this week and will be downloadable at Booktopia and on Audible with Mr Edgar narrating.
‘The book is going to expose a lot of things that have gone on in my life,’ Mr Edgar said.
‘And it’s going to effect a lot of other people. I mean, there’s a lot of people on this planet that are breathing right now that shouldn’t be.
‘And I have to tell you honestly, if it wasn’t for my wife, they wouldn’t be breathing today.’
Paramount is understood to be considering Mark Wahlburg (pictured with wife Rhea Durham), Ben Affleck, Vin Diesel and Vince Vaughn for the leading role
Yet, the potential fame and fortune headed his way, Mr Edgar is staying grounded.
‘This opportunity has come about because I actually care about helping people.’ he said.
‘And that’s what it’s all about. That’s what life’s about, or should be.
‘I hope to inspire others to do the right thing and to always help people who aren’t as strong or who aren’t in a position to help themselves. This is what society should be about. The world would be a better place, I reckon’.
When asked if he believes in an afterlife, Mr Edgar said he has ‘no interest’.
‘No, I’ve got no interest whatsoever. I’m an atheist. I live and let live.’ he said.
‘I don’t believe there’s a Hell. Because, I mean, why’s the Devil never written a book? God has.’
Mr Edgar said Covid-19 has been great for business with more people thinking about death