Double Play, Curacaoan author Frank Martinus Arion’s internationally acclaimed Dutch-language novel, is being adapted into a feature film to be helmed by Ernest Dickerson (Juice, The Wire). He’ll work from a script by Evan Jones and Alaric Alexander Smeets, with Lisa Cortes (Precious) and music and film festival organizer Gregory Elias producing.
The novel, set during the 1970s, evokes themes of colonial unrest on the Caribbean island of Curacao during the tumultuous transition from Dutch colonial rule to autonomous self-governance. Over the course of a game of dominoes that lasts an entire day, the fates of four men are revealed through a journey of love, loss and deadly betrayal, while political, social and sexual rivalries are provoked. Published in 1973, the book received the Van der Hoogt Prize in the Netherlands and remains one of the most acclaimed examples of Caribbean literature.
Set to be filmed on location in Curacao, the production plans to make heavy use of local geography, people, and musical traditions, and several involved parties have ties to the island nation. Dickerson, known for his long collaboration with Spike Lee, served as cinematographer early in his career on the films Desiree, and Almacita di desolato, from Curacaoan director Felix de Rooy. Elias, meanwhile, is the producer of both the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival and the Curacao International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Grammy-winning songwriter Sergio George has been tapped to produce the film’s music, as well as write and arrange parts of the original score. Other musical contributors will be announced later.
Full funding has been secured from both domestic and international partners. Said Cortes about the funding deals, “We’re making the film we want to, and we’re lucky we have [this] belief in the project.” Casting is underway and filming is scheduled to begin in November. Kim Hardin is serving as casting director.
Dickerson is repped by Untitled Entertainment, Verve Talent and Literary Agency, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman.