Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pyres: The Movie?

Must admit I've been sitting on this news a while, processing whether or not it could be true, waiting for it to mature. But now that the first big step has been taken, hiring a brilliant screenwriter, I must spread the news. So here goes:

Producer Andrew Fierberg at Vox3 Films has optioned film rights to Derek Nikitas' Edgar Award nominated PYRES, the story of a rebellious teenage girl who is forced to come of age in the midst of the criminal conspiracies surrounding her father's murder and the dogged detective atoning for her own family's collapse while investigating the case.

Fierberg is 1/3 of Vox3, a highly successful NY-based independent production company known for actually making the movies for which they acquire the rights, so you can imagine my delight. What's more, their movies are quirky, honest, and alive in ways you don't normally see in movies from the big H (not that I have anything against the big H, mind you; there's a time to every purpose under heaven).

Their most recent release is Rage with Judi Dench, Jude Law (in drag), Eddie Izzard, and Steve Buscemi. They've also made Keane, a truly frightning and moving and intimate psychological character study; Secretary with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader; Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus with Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr., among quite a few others. Secretary and Fur are of course Steven Shainberg's two stylish and creepy films, the former of which I've taught in a film class before.

Oh, and they made Broken English, directed by Zoe Casavettes, the daughter of one of my heroes, the late, great independet film giant, John Casavettes. I enjoyed Broken English in particular because it shows how much more Ms. Casavettes is following in her father's footsteps than her brother Nick, who made The Notebook.

But the biggest news yet about all this is that Vox3 has hired James Ponsoldt to write the adapted screenplay. Ponsoldt's first feature film, Off The Black (starring Nick Nolte), was a Sundance official entry. If you've not seen it, run out and rent it pronto. It's a moving, starkly beautiful character study full of authenticating detail both comic and tragic, and it has such a keen eye for the kind of life my characters lead. I'm thrilled to have James making my story his own, and can't wait to read the results.