Producer Scott Steindorff tells De Palma a la Mod that there is a new cast now in talks for Toyer. This was in response to my question of whether or not they are still talking with Juliette Binoche and Colin Firth about the lead roles in the upcoming film. It looks like we can expect to see some news of a new cast in the upcoming weeks. Steindorff also confirmed for me that Brian De Palma is the sole writer of the screenplay adaptation (so the long-ago unsubstantiated rumor of a Ted Tally revision was probably never true).
When I talked to De Palma in Paris in 2002, he told me that he "had an idea to make a very scary movie, based on a kind of serial murderer that preys on tourists." In later months, it was announced that he would be filming an adaptation of Gardner McKay's Toyer with producer Tarak Ben-Ammar, and it always seemed to me that this must have been the film De Palma had been referring to. "A kind of serial murderer" is different than saying "a serial murderer," and seems close to the premise of Toyer, which is about a serial killer who does not actually kill his victims, but has the surgical skill to lobotomize them. Hence, "a kind of serial murderer." There was also a rumor around 2004 that De Palma had planned to cast famous actresses in cameo roles as Toyer's victims (or should we say, Venice "tourists"?). This would be one obvious alteration to the original one act play, which has only two characters.
When De Palma said in the quote above that he "had an idea," part of that idea was undoubtedly visual. As he explained in the same interview, "you know, now you go through a process of reading a lot of material, books, scripts, writing… until you get something that’s going to get you interested enough to make the movie. And as you get older, it just gets harder. And you say, do I want to spend all this time making something I’m not really a hundred percent sure that it’s going to be moving what I’m doing another step. You know, 'What am I saying with this movie? Am I involving some kind of cinematic idea I’m working on?'" With Toyer, which he has tried to get off the ground repeatedly, it is a safe bet that De Palma feels he will be working out some new cinematic ideas.