Neil LaBute’s (“In the Company of Men”, “Nurse Betty”) next project has been announced. The writer-director will once again be teaming up with producer William Horberg to adapt Charles Willeford’s crime novel “The Burnt Orange Heresy”. The duo recently worked together on the “Death at a Funeral” remake. You can read more about this project and why I think this might be a return to form for LaBute after the jump.
I feel that people have forgotten how good Neil LaBute can be at times. “In the Company of Men”, “Your Friends & Neighbors”. and “Nurse Betty” all have this great pitch black comedy to them which I just eat up. It’s a shame that he’s nowadays more known as the man behind the now cult classic “Wicker Man” remake than anything else. I still haven’t seen his latest film, “Lakeview Terrace”, but from what I have heard and read that film wasn’t enough to help us forget “Wicker Man”…sadly.
However, after reading Variety’s announcement for this project I feel that this might be the film that taps into what LaBute does best. The plot description for “The Burnt Orange Heresy” (via Amazon) sheds some more light on the films plot.
“Fast-talking, backstabbing, womanizing art critic Jacques Figueras will do anything – blackmail, burglary, fencing, assassination – to further his career. Crossing the art world with the underworld, Willeford expands his noir palette to include hues of sunny Florida and weird tints of Surrealism when Figueras takes a job for an art collector who doesn’t care how his art is collected, even if it involves murder.”
This certainly sounds like something that LaBute would dig. We have art, murder, and a fast talking male lead. I don’t know if this novel has more of a thriller or a dark comedic edge to it but I am hoping that it’s great mix of both since the same author, Charles Willeford, also wrote the novel that underseen gem “Miami Blues” is based off of. That film was also produced by William Horberg, who will be producing this project for LaBute after “We discovered that we were both big Willeford fans.”
Neil LaBute’s remake of “Death at a Funeral” based off a screenplay and starring Chris Rock is set for an April 16th, 2010 release date.