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Sunday, August 15, 2010

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.

Posted by Geoff at 6:09 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 4:50 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (11) | Permalink | Share This Post

Sunday, August 15, 2010 - 8:35 PM CDT

Name: "Gustavo"
Home Page: http://mulhollandcinelog.wordpress.com/

There was also a rumor around 2004 that De Palma had planned to cast famous actresses in cameo roles as Toyer's victims.


Let's hope he didn't discard that idea. It sounds cool.

Monday, August 16, 2010 - 7:55 AM CDT

Name: "rado"
Home Page: http://spaze.info

it doesn't get any better. easily my favourite unproduced project with a "raising cain/body double" vibe. and donaggio on standby! good luck to all involved.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 2:09 AM CDT

Name: "Andreas"

Great news! I loved FEMME FATALE and can't wait to see another pure De Palma film. De Palma made some brave casting choices in the past, so consider me excited.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 1:13 PM CDT

Name: "Paul "

Oh man I have my fingers crossed that this "famous actress" could be Scarlett Johansson.   She just seems like she'd be a perfect DePalma "victim".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 6:16 PM CDT

Name: "MsMliss"

TOYER:  I politely urge Mr. DePalma to keep Colin Firth in the leading role in the Gardner Mckay novel/play TOYER.

I read the novel maybe five, or so, years ago, as well as the play Mr. DePalma was finally able to procure, and was then--and I still am today--convinced that there is no finer actor to "pull off" the psychological shapeshifting required in this stories taut climax!

Colin Firth, he performance will prove to be the quintessential TOYER!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 6:25 PM CDT

Name: "MsMliss"

Have you read this novel/play, Paul?

I think if Mr. DePalma were to cast Scarlet Johansson as one of TOYER'S victims, it will have to be merely a bit part.

I think Juliette Binoche, as Maude, would be perfectly cast opposite Colin Firth. And while it would be a reunion of sorts for these actors, it would be far easier to enjoy the sexual tension between these two than a reunion of this tenseness with Mr. Firth and Ms. Johansson. Just my opinion.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 11:26 AM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

There could be a lot of variables as to why Colin Firth and/or Juliette Binoche might not play those roles in TOYER this fall. It has been about four years since they were both ready to go on the film. At the time, in 2006, Firth quipped at a press conference in Rome that they had been trying to make that film for so long, "maybe I'll play TOYER's grandfather." The amount of time may have passed to where the two of them no longer seem right for the roles, or perhaps they are busy with other projects/commitments this season. Who knows, but everything has to come together at the right time.

Regarding the cameo casting of famous actresses as Toyer's victims, as I said, that was a rumor floating around earlier, which may or may not have been true. Either way, it is a great idea, and of course, I agree that Scarlett would be a great choice-- and wouldn't it be fun to see Rebecca Romijn make such an appearance, as well?

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 12:09 AM CDT

Name: "MsMliss"

For Geoff.

Colin Firth is always self-depricating, grandfather, indeed! LOL But seriously, despite Gardner McKay's character's age in the novel, there is actually no reason why Mr. Firth's age could be an impediment, regardless of Mr. DePalma's choice to make only the play into a feature film. After all, there is no age limit on serial evil, historically speaking, no matter what the country, which brings me to another good reason why Colin Firth should play TOYER.

DePalma's desire to take the setting out of Los Angeles, California and over to Venice, Italy would suit Colin Firth brilliantly! In fact, I had first read that he wanted TOYER to be carrying out his abominable deeds all across western Europe. This would lend credibility to the complication in tracking him down; too many countries, too many jurisdictions. As for Colin Firth's acting, he has already "proven" himself as a convincing and beguiling charmer. The bonus is he is also fluent in Italian!  TOYER a tall, dark & handsome Englishman fluent in Italian unmasked in Venice sounds like a recipe for perfection to me! And I haven't even begun to discuss the brilliant nuances of his acting!


Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 3:45 PM CDT

Name: "Jeremy O Connell"

Great that De Palma is intent on finally making this film!

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 7:50 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

Yes, MsMliss, Firth is a great actor, and I would love to see him in the role. You are right about De Palma's plans for Toyer to be striking in western Europe-- in 2006, they were planning on filming in London and Paris, as well as Venice. I imagine they are still planning something like that now (as De Palma's Toyer preys on tourists).

Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 1:23 PM CDT

Name: "MsMliss"

For Geoff:

Yes. And I'd be all for seeing Mr. Firth with all those city backdrops for showcasing all of his many seductive persuasions! Still...as the play is the "final" game between the TOYER and Maude, I understand Mr. DePalma's need for back references and thus the use of cameo appearances for the viewer to understand what leads up to this final Act.

Here's a video of Colin Firth in Italian. [the 1st 2:30 seconds]


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