The film adaptation of John Kaye’s novel The Dead Circus is about to get rolling, with producers eyeing a summer start date. The film stars James Marsden, Melissa Leo, Michael Shannon and Michael C. Hall and tells a fictious story based on the non-ficticious death of singer Bobby Fuller. Written by Adam Davenport and John Kaye, the film is set to mark the directorial debut of Davenport. Deadline reports that Palermo pictures wants to shoot the flick this summer.
Marsden is set to play Charles Manson, with Leo playing a Manson Family matriarch who comes out of hiding to give a few hints to a screenwriter trying to solve Fuller’s mysterious death (ruled a suicide, even though the singer was battered and had gasoline poured down his throat). Shannon and Hall will play Fuller’s managers. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel. [Update: Deadline has updated their story to report that Shannon will not be in the movie.]
A seemingly ordinary tragedy plunges an ex-cop-turned-detective into the murky, bizarre world of the Manson family in screenwriter and film director Kaye’s second novel, an overplotted but riveting noir thriller set mostly in 1960s and ’70s Los Angeles. The action begins in 1986, when former LAPD cop Gene Burk (brother of Ray Burk, the central figure in Kaye’s debut, Stars Screaming) is shattered by the death of his fianc‚e, a flight attendant named Alice Hanson, in an airline crash. When Burk inherits her effects, he discovers some letters that link her to a fictional woman from the Manson cult named Alice McMillan. Burk is able to connect McMillan’s comings and goings to the death of ’60s rockabilly star Bobby Fuller, whose mysterious demise possibly ordered by Frank Sinatra when the star dated Sinatra’s daughter is an obsession of Burk’s.