The 2014 European Film Market only just kicked off, but as far as we’re concerned, the best news of the year so far has come today as Bill Paxton is returning to the director’s chair… for an adaptation of a Joe Lansdale novel no less!
Per Deadline, Paradise City, the production label of Paris-based Memento Films International, has tapped Paxton to direct an adaptation of Joe Lansdale’s novel The Bottoms based on a script by Brent Hanley, who wrote Paxton’s excellent 2001 directing effort Frailty.
“I have been a big fan of Joe Lansdale’s writing since the Hap and Leonard novels,” Paxton says. “His stories and characters are vivid, original, and indelible. The screenwriter Brent Hanley and I have been looking to team up again since Frailty, and when we read Joe’s book The Bottoms, we knew we had hit pay dirt. With a story and script this good, we have a chance to make a bonafide classic. I couldn’t be more excited!”
Paradise City recently co-financed and co-produced Jim Mickle’s Sundance film Cold in July, which was also based on a book by Lansdale. “We’ve been obsessed with The Bottoms since we first read it,” says Paradise City’s Nicholas Shumaker. “We are huge fans of Frailty so we were beyond thrilled to find out that Paxton has wanted this to be his next directorial project for some time. We’re excited to work with him and to continue to do our part to bring the works of Joe Lansdale to screens around the world following the success of Cold in July.”
Emilie Georges, Nicholas Kaiser, Naima Abed, and Shumaker will produce for Paradise City. Brad Wyman is an executive producer. WME will package and represent North American rights.
The book synopsis follows. Shooting is planned for later this year so expect lots more soon!
A thriller with echoes of William Faulkner and Harper Lee, The Bottoms is classic American storytelling in its truest, darkest, and more affecting form.
It’s 1933 in East Texas, and the Depression lingers in the air like a slow-moving storm. When a young Harry Collins and his little sister stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottoms of the Sabine River, their small town is instantly charged with tension. When a second body turns up, this time of a white woman, there is little Harry can do from stopping his Klan neighbors from lynching an innocent black man. Together with his younger sister, Harry sets out to discover who the real killer is, and to do so they will search for a truth that resides far deeper than any river or skin color.
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