DE PALMA: A "DESCENT INTO HELL... STORY WORTHY OF HENRICK IBSEN OR ARTHUR MILLER"
Brian De Palma has mentioned his new project Happy Valley in several interviews with French media that were published this past week, and now a picture is beginning to emerge of his vision for the upcoming film. In a video interview posted today at Premiere, De Palma says, "Well, I’m just starting working on a script about a very legendary college coach, Joe Paterno, whose assistant coach was involved in a sex scandal. It sort of destroyed his whole program."
De Palma told Le Soir's Fabienne Bradfer that he'll be shooting Happy Valley in New York: "But my next film, which deals with pedophilia, will be made in New York with Al Pacino. There is a coach who oversees a guy on his team who, over several decades, was abusing young boys. Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors of his generation. He is fascinating and mysterious. As is De Niro. Imagine knowing both of them for 50 years!"
In an interview with Le Monde's Sandrine Marques, De Palma talked about the inevitable with Happy Valley: "For years, I’ve looked for a space like the shower in Psycho. The place where you feel safe and secure but which is desecrated. I have an idea I might be using that for my next film."
And in a great interview with Télérama's Laurent Rigoulet and Jacques Morice, De Palma further sheds some light on how he sees the story, describing it as "the descent into hell of a model coach caught up in a story of pedophilia. It’s an incident which has troubled many Americans. A compelling story worthy of Henrik Ibsen or Arthur Miller. Suffice it to say that we will have to work hard there to interest producers right now. But Pacino is taking it wholeheartedly, this is a dream role for him. If we can get it there, it could be a great American film."
(This last interview might have taken place prior to January's announcement that Edward R. Pressman had come aboard as producer; De Palma also says he will "probably" do this film with Pacino, which indicates that he hadn't yet signed on for the project when he did this interview.)