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Buscemi takes helm of Seneca’s Burroughs tale

Films slated to go into production early next year

Steve Buscemi, in between studio acting gigs, will helm the screen adaptation of William S. Burroughs’ novels “Queer” and “Junky” for Seneca Falls Prods.

Pic, which follows Burroughs’ life as a Beat generation writer, is slated to go into production in early 2000, possibly with Buscemi attached to star. The two books will be combined for the pic.

Project will be Buscemi’s second as director. His first effort, “Trees Lounge,” also was produced by Seneca Falls.

Producing the pic are Kelley Forsyth and Sarah Vogel for Seneca Falls, with Sanna Johnsson and Peter Cartriers of the Swedish-based LTR Investments.

The new pic marks the beginning of a partnership between Seneca Falls and LTR with a development fund the two are putting together. The fund will allow Seneca to buy books, scripts and original material to develop for American and Euro markets.

“We created this fund out of a desire to be able to concentrate more fully on the crucial development phase of projects, a stage which is often under-resourced in independent film,” Forsyth said.

Buscemi met the late Burroughs in Lawrence, Kan., two years ago, ultimately going target shooting with the legendary scribe.

“I’m a big fan of Burroughs, so it was intimidating to meet him,” Buscemi said. “But he was a gracious and warm host. I was thrilled to get a chance to spend some time with him.”

Burroughs’ longtime companion, James Grauerholz, said Buscemi was a natural with Burroughs.

“I think Steve felt right at home. Everyone was very low-key about ‘the visiting movie star’ and of course, that is exactly why Burroughs enjoyed living in Lawrence. The next day Steve went target shooting with William at a friend’s farm, and they had a good time — even though a caffeinated New York gossip columnist tried to suggest that this horrible gun ordeal was some kind of test by Burroughs that Steve had to pass,” Grauerholz said.