After vanishing from Hollywood to advise President Bill Clinton through two terms in the White House, Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason are returning to adapt her William Morrow novel “Liberating Paris” into a feature.
The “Designing Women” creator is adapting and will direct her tale of six friends from a small Southern town who reunite as each turns 40. Though she hasn’t completed a script or raised financing yet, Bloodworth-Thomason has filled half that ensemble with Michelle Pfeiffer, Billy Bob Thornton and Dwight Yoakam, each of them attached. The Thomasons will produce with Jeff Sagansky.
Pic is one of several percolating projects for the Thomasons, who had no time left for showbiz as they advised Clinton through his tumultuous presidency.
“I feel like we’re 10 years behind,” she said. “In 1992, I had three TV shows, 300 employees and a $50 million contract with CBS. At the end of the Clinton presidency, I had no television show, one secretary, and Kenneth Starr was in possession of every piece of paper I owned, including my phone records. But we wouldn’t have traded it for a moment. We literally helped (Clinton) pack and then I drove home and started writing madly. That is coming to fruition now.”
Bloodworth-Thomason just directed her fourth film for the Clinton library.
With Thomason and Sagansky, she and Sissy Spacek are producing “Southern Comfort,” a script Bloodworth-Thomason wrote and will direct based on the Kate Davis-directed documentary. She’s also developing for HBO a single-camera half-hour comedy, “The Shakespeares.”
She wrote “Liberating Paris” to show tolerance and intelligence among Southerners. The sitcom will do something else. “The show deals with the Jerry Springer side of hicks,” she said. “It looks at the life of a Chevy dealership-owning hick family the way that ‘The Sopranos’ looks at the mob.”