Patricia Clarkson, Peter Sarsgaard and Campbell Scott will star for New York-based independent production banner Holedigger Films in the feature version of Craig Lucas’ two-act stage piece “The Dying Gaul,” to be adapted and directed by the playwright.
Shooting starts Nov. 14 in Los Angeles. Scott, George Van Buskirk and David Newman produce, with Kimberly Reiss as co-producer. While Scott has no formal ties to Holedigger, the actor has an ongoing relationship as unofficial godfather to the company, which produced his most recent directorial effort, “Off the Map.” Producers are in talks with distributors for U.S. rights.
First presented at New York’s Vineyard Theater in 1998, Lucas’ play is an edgy examination of a three-pronged relationship between a writer attempting to sell a script chronicling the death of his male lover from AIDS; a bisexual Hollywood producer with an interest in the project and the writer; and the producer’s wife, who tolerates her husband’s gay infidelities but becomes curious about his new lover.
Sarsgaard will play the writer, with Scott as the producer and Clarkson as his wife.
“Craig is probably the best first-time director I’ve ever seen,” said Van Buskirk, who is a partner in Holedigger with Newman. “He’s incredibly decisive, but also collaborative, so he knows exactly what he wants but is willing to listen to everyone around him. He’s going to do a wonderful job with this, which is like a Hitchcock movie.”
Lucas adapted Jane Smiley’s novella “The Age of Grief” for Holedigger, which was filmed by Alan Rudolph as “The Secret Lives of Dentists” and released earlier this year by Manhattan Pictures Intl. The playwright will make his feature directing debut on “The Dying Gaul.”
Lucas previously penned feature adaptations of his plays “Longtime Companion,” “Reckless” and “Prelude to a Kiss.”
“Campbell and Craig first met on ‘Longtime Companion,’ and the minute we started talking about doing this movie, Campbell was very supportive of the idea of Craig as the director,” Van Buskirk said. “I’ve been wanting to make this movie for two or three years now and have been waiting for Craig to finish the script. It couldn’t have come together in a better way.”
Holedigger is aiming to secure a Sundance slot to premiere its latest production, “Marie and Bruce,” adapted from Wallace Shawn’s play and directed by Tom Cairns. It stars Julianne Moore and Matthew Broderick with Bob Balaban, and features cameos from Scott, Griffin Dunne and Steve Burns.