Website traffic is through the roof all of a sudden. It’s the ol’ Black Dahlia again.
Do an image search for “Black Dahlia” and you get this. The very first picture on the page is on my own site. Click on that and you’re pulled into my page about the delicate skin. I wrote the script years ago (completed it in 2002) from an idea that germinated back in ’99. It was the culmination of a long-held fascination with the Beth Short case. I wanted to write about it, but I didn’t want to simply tell the tale in a straightforward ho-hum manner. That had been done ad-nauseam already. I wanted to write something contemporary, something modern, that had its roots in the original case and drew power from it, but which played out like a ghost story. I wanted to tap into the tragic essense of the oringinal story but wrap in a feeling of supernatural dread. It took a hell of a lot out of me, but I did it. And the script is great.
It was optioned a few years ago, but the development of the current DePalma film clouded the vision of those who read it (“Isn’t there already a Dahlia film in the works?”) and it slammed headlong into roadblock after roadblock, especially after someone close to the DePalma peoduction got his hands on it; the next day the trades were filled with announcements. Forget that the DePalma film is based on the James Ellroy novel, which itself wasn’t a direct telling of the Beth Short story. Forget that mine was actually a modern crime story that uses Dahlia as a backdrop. Forget that there were worlds of difference between the two. There just can’t be TWO Dahlia movies.
Until now, of course.
New Line is now making Steve Hodel’s entertaining, but ultimately misguided tome, The Black Dahlia Avenger into a film. And once again, any attempt to get TDS off the ground will be met by a round of blank stares and comments like, “There just can’t be THREE Dahlia movies.”
So I’m just gonna throw in the towel on this one. You want a cool supernatural thriller? Here’s the premise: In the course of an investigation, a troubled, eccentric Robbery-Homicide detective meets a woman whom he begins to suspect may be an emerging incarnation of Liz Long, who died in the notorious Blue Rose murder of 1947.
Read it here. You’ll have to change the names in your head. I haven’t gotten around to doing it on paper.