Say I’m talking about my script, the delicate skin, to an executive and he’s read it and he knows it’s about Elizabeth Short (The Black Dahlia) and he leans forward and he says, “Brian DePalma’s at work on the adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel, “The Black Dahlia.” Of course I know this is coming, and although I can explain why my script is still worthwhile (especially over a couple pints at the Coach & Horses) what specifically do I tell him in a hundred words or less?
That’s what Nena and Rich asked me today. Since they’re running into that very same problem as they work toward setting the script up, they asked me if I had any ideas. This is what I came up with:
The DePalma adaptation is going to be a straightforward, approach to a book that only obliquely involves the character of Elizabeth Short. the delicate skin takes a different approach. It attempts to address the murder in a modern setting without simply transplanting the story into the present day. TBD is a period film. TDS is a modern thriller, yet in TDS, we�ve found a way to address directly the character of Beth Short and preserve some of the 40�s mystique of the original murder case. And since the story unfolds today, it�s a perspective on the murder everyone can identify with–young people especially, who might see the Ellroy adaptation as “apart” from them, a historical narrative, far removed from their present day world.
The other major distinction is that TDS has an element of the supernatural that sets it apart from any other approach thus far, yet it sticks to identifiable genre conventions. It’s a modern noir thriller. But it’s also something of a character study and a even ghost story.
And yes, it slices and dices.
Anyway, you get the idea. Fingers are crossed. They’re headed for New York tomorrow to present the project to a few people. They’re even assembling a package to present to people and requested my help in creating the image of a WHITE Dahlia on a black background for the cover…