Muse Prods. has locked up rights to a novel by pimp Iceberg Slim, firmed the feature debut of Snoop Doggy Dogg, signed Kathleen Turner and Danny De Vito for a new pic, and set Dennis Hopper to helm an adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel. But at this point, most people only want to hear the dirt on “American Psycho.”
The Croisette is swirling with tales of money and bruised feelings on the pic since director Mary Harron departed the project once Leonardo DiCaprio agreed (for $21 million) to star in the film being co-produced by Muse.
Harron is “still involved in the project,” says Roberta Hanley, half of the duo (along with Chris Hanley) who run Muse Prods. Roberta Hanley says of Harron and co-scripter Guinevere Turner, “What’s lost in all this is the fact that Mary and Gwen’s script hooked in DiCaprio.”
The duo declines other details of the project (which has been on their slate since Cannes 1992), but are anxious to talk about other deals they’ve just wrapped up.
Chris Hanley reports the company has just acquired screen rights to “Mama Black Widow,” a docu-novel by famed pimp Iceberg Slim. The book is based on the true story of a boy who fled the South of the 1940s and ended up as a top-“trick” transvestite hooker in the 1960s.
Muse, with partners Francis Ford Coppola and Dan Halstead, has concluded the casting deals with DeVito, Turner and James Woods on “Virgin Suicides,” the directing debut of Sofia Coppola. He describes the pic, to roll this summer, as an “Ice Storm”-like look at ’70s suburbia.
The company is negotiating on a rights deal for “In the Company of Mothers,” a novel by A.M. Homes (“End of Alice”). Rights were previously held by Disney for a project that was supposed to star Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon and Hanley says he “jumped” the minute rights were available.
Hanley is following his 1996 Thompson adaptation “This World, Then the Fireworks,” with “The Killer Inside Me,” with Hopper helming and Kushner-Locke in as financing partners. He’s also prepping Hitchcockian thriller “Walk Up” with Jordan Gertner directing and co-producing with Muse’s Tim Peternel.
Hanley is also producing “Corleon’s Revenge,” the feature film acting debut of rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, who co-wrote the story with pic’s director Rashida Natara Harper.
In post-production are Roberta Hanley’s directing debut, “Woundings,” starring “L.A. Confidential’s” Guy Pearce, Emily Lloyd, Johnathon Schaech and Ray Winstone. Also in post are the Billy Zane-starrer “I Woke Up Early the Day I Died,” based on an Ed Wood script, and contempo vampire pic “Revenant.”
Muse has the Dominique Swain coming-of-age pic, “Girl,” in the Cannes market.