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Friday, June 13, 2008
HURD TALKS STRANGLERS
AND DE PALMA NAMES HIS DREAM PROJECT
I've just discovered a French mediacast from this past February in which Brian De Palma is asked a series of fictional questions from various pop-mythological figures such as Oliver Stone ("What is your definition of a political film?"), Alfred Hitchcock ("Why are you so fascinated with my movies?"), and Scarlett Johansson ("When you come to Paris, what’s your guilty pleasure?"), among others. The most intriguing fictional question comes from Bill Gates: "I’m offering you an unlimited budget and total control. What film will you direct with that?" De Palma, pausing to think for a moment, replies, "Well, thank you, Bill. I appreciate the offer. I’ve always wanted to make a movie of a very famous science fiction book called The Demolished Man. It’s been a dream project of mine since I was in high school. And it will need an unlimited budget in order to do it."

De Palma tried to get his screen adaptation of Alfred Bester‘s The Demolished Man made in 1978, with Frank Yablans as producer, following the pair’s collaboration on The Fury that same year. However, the project proved difficult to get off the ground after the disappointing box office of The Fury.

Throughout the years, various filmmakers have attempted to get a film of The Demolished Man off the ground, but none have yet succeeded. In 1981, Oliver Stone wrote a screenplay based on Bester’s novel that Ted Kotcheff was supposed to direct. More recently, in 2005, Tom Jacobson, who had produced De Palma’s Mission To Mars, tried to produce a version of Bester’s book adapted by Milo Addica, and to be directed by Andrew Dominik. However, that project seems to have fallen through. De Palma has mentioned The Demolished Man every now and then through the years as a project he is still keeping an eye on. 

DE PALMA NAMES THREE FAVORITES
In the French mediacast, De Palma is "asked" by "Gilles Jacob" to name the best three movies he's ever seen. De Palma expresses difficulty trying to come up with only three, but names, in this order, The Red Shoes, Lawrence Of Arabia, and Vertigo.

GALE ANNE HURD FEATURED IN VARIETY
Variety today publishes a series of articles in tribute to De Palma’s ex-wife and current collaborator Gale Anne Hurd, pictured here in her office. Via her company, Valhalla Motion Pictures, Hurd is producing De Palma’s upcoming adaptation of Susan Kelly‘s The Boston Stranglers. Hurd tells Variety that the story “touches on the desire for celebrity, using fear as a way to control people and manipulate the media and the police department, and to bring political pressure.”

BIG NAMES BANDIED ABOUT FOR STRANGLERS LEAD
The man who, according to Kelly’s book, took credit for the Boston Strangler murders and created a media circus in his quest for celebrity status was Albert DeSalvo. According to Boston Magazine’s David Mashburn, three of the big names being mentioned as the potential lead in De Palma’s film are Mark Wahlberg (who was originally cast to play Lee Blanchard in De Palma’s The Black Dahlia, but fell out when that production hit a snag and he moved on to other projects), Benicio Del Toro, and Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise? That would be extremely interesting. In the French mediacast mentioned above, “Tom Cruise” asks De Palma, “Would you work with me again, or is that mission impossible?” De Palma replies, “Well, Tom, it was very exciting to work with you, and we made a terrific movie together, but when you asked me to make the next Mission: Impossible, I said, ‘Isn’t one Mission: Impossible enough?’” These casting tremors are just rumors for now, but Mashburn also supplies one other interesting tidbit: Alan Rosen’s screenplay for The Boston Stranglers currently takes up about three hours worth of screen time.


Posted by Geoff at 1:37 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:54 AM CDT
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