Other than its struggle to find an ending, Bill Paxton‘s 2001 feature directorial debut, Frailty, is a damn fine film. It’s creepy, it’s compelling, and hopefully he’ll bring a similar tone to his adaptation of Joe Lansdale‘s dark novel, The Bottoms. Per Deadline, “the racially-themed novel is set in East Texas and follows an adolescent boy, his little sister, and their father who stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottom of the Sabine River. The townsfolk cover up the crime until the body of a white woman is found in similar circumstances and it falls to the family to unearth the truth.” There are definitely a couple similarities to Frailty in terms of it taking place in the past (1933 for The Bottoms), in Texas, and centering on a family that faces unnerving circumstances.
Hit the jump for more.
In a statement, Paxton said [via Deadline]:
“I have been a big fan of Joe Lansdale’s writing since the Hap And Leonard novels,” Paxton says. “His stories and characters are vivid, original and indelible. The screenwriter Brent Hanley and I have been looking to team up again, since Frailty and when we read Joe’s book The Bottoms, we knew we had hit pay dirt. With a story and script this good, we have a chance to make a bonafide classic. I couldn’t be more excited!”
Paxton hasn’t directed a film since 2005’s The Greatest Game Ever Played, so I’m eager to see him get back behind the camera. He’ll also be reteaming with his Frailty screenwriter Brent Hanley. Production is set to begin later this year.
A thriller with echoes of William Faulkner and Harper Lee, The Bottoms is classic American storytelling in its truest, darkest, and more affecting form.
Its 1933 in East Texas and the Depression lingers in the air like a slow moving storm. When a young Harry Collins and his little sister stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottoms of the Sabine River, their small town is instantly charged with tension. When a second body turns up, this time of a white woman, there is little Harry can do from stopping his Klan neighbors from lynching an innocent black man. Together with his younger sister, Harry sets out to discover who the real killer is, and to do so they will search for a truth that resides far deeper than any river or skin color. [Amazon]