“The number one question I get asked is, ‘Do you think Jim Morrison’s really dead?’” says Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist of The Doors. In response, Manzarek wrote the novel The Poet in Exile, which imagines Morrison coming out of hiding forty years after his staged death in 1971. Tim Sullivan (Driftwood) has optioned the rights to the novel with plans to write and direct the adaptation. Sullivan will co-write the script with Gavin Heffernan (Chillerama) and Liz Sullivan (Icons and Outcasts). Manzarek will produce.
The casting process should be fun. Who would you want to see play a 67-year-old Jim Morrison? Full pres release after the jump.
RAY MANZAREK’S “POET” HEADED FOR BIG SCREENTim Sullivan to adapt Doors co-founder’s bestselling novel “The Poet in Exile”
(Hollywood, CA)- Tim Sullivan (Driftwood, Chillerama, Vh1’s Scream Queens) has optioned the rights to Doors co-founder Ray Manzarek’s bestselling novel The Poet in Exile. Plans call for a feature film to be written and directed by Sullivan and produced by Manzarek. Sullivan will co-write the script with Chillerama producer and editor Gavin Heffernan (Expiration) and New Mexico poet/author Liz Sullivan (Icons and Outcasts).
Published to strong acclaim, Manzarek’s novel explores the notion “what if” his former bandmate, the iconic rock and roll poet and legend Jim Morrison, did indeed stage his death in 1971 (as widelyspeculated), and now, 40 years later, contacts Manzarek from his hiding place in the Seychelles Islands to embark on one final journey of rock and roll rebellion.
The Doors are not unfamiliar with the celluloid screen. Between Oliver Stone’s epic biopic The Doors and the highly praised documentary When You’re Strange (narrated by Johnny Depp), the fame and folklore of Jim Morrison and company has seen its share of high-profile cinematic treatment. But never before has an actual Doors film project originated from a member of the band.
“The number one question I get asked is, ‘Do you think Jim Morrison’s really dead?’” Manzarek revealed. “All I can say is, I personally have not seen or heard from Jim since he left for Paris 40 yearsago. And I miss that guy. He was a poet. A Dionysus to my Apollo. A great performer, a shaman. And a damn good friend. The real Jim, the human Jim, always gets overshadowed by the Morrison myths and legends. But that’s the Jim I captured with the book and, along with Tim Sullivan, seek to capture with the film.”
While known primarily for his presence in the horror genre, Sullivan is no stranger to the field of music, having served as MTV News staff writer and producer of the KISS rock and roll comedy Detroit Rock City as well as producer of the unreleased documentary on The Doors of the 21st Century’s reunion tour, his firstcollaboration with Manzarek.
“The spirit of Jim, the spirit of the 60’s, truly lives on in Ray,” said Sullivan. “Ever since I first read Poet, I knew it would make an amazing film. Ideals and dreams never die, but they often have a difficult time breaking through to new generations. That’s what this story is about, the perseverance of love and truth, as embodied in the deep bond and friendship between two incredible artists.”
With 2011 marking the 40th anniversary of L.A. Woman, The Doors final album, as well as the 40th anniversary of Morrison’s death in Paris, the timing seems right for The Poet in Exile. In honor of these events, Manzarek has been on the road with original Doorsguitarist Robby Krieger, a highly anticipated tour that included a recent sold-out stop at the famed Whisky A Go Go on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, and over one million continuing to sell annually, The Doors influence on modern generations shows no sign of stopping.
Scheduled to shoot 2012, The Poet in Exile will be produced through ClubHouse Entertainment, Sullivan’s production company formed with Heffernan and fellow writer/directors Brian McCulley (Text), John Crockett (The Locals), Adam Robitel (The Bloody Benders) and Paul Ward (One for the Road).