EXCLUSIVE: Paradise City, the newly-minted production label of Paris-based Memento Films International, has tapped Bill Paxton to direct the adaptation of prolific author Joe Lansdale’s The Bottoms. The Edgar Award winning, racially-themed novel is set in East Texas and follows an adolescent boy, his little sister, and their father who stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottom of the Sabine River. The townsfolk cover up the crime until the body of a white woman is found in similar circumstances and it falls to the family to unearth the truth. The transfer is written by Brent Hanley who penned Paxton’s 2001 directing effort Frailty. Shooting is planned for later this year.
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“I have been a big fan of Joe Lansdale’s writing since the Hap And Leonard novels,” Paxton says. “His stories and characters are vivid, original and indelible. The screenwriter Brent Hanley and I have been looking to team up again, since Frailty and when we read Joe’s book The Bottoms, we knew we had hit pay dirt. With a story and script this good, we have a chance to make a bonafide classic. I couldn’t be more excited!”
Paradise City recently co-financed and co-produced Jim Mickle’s Sundance pic Cold In July which was also based on a book by Lansdale. “We’ve been obsessed with The Bottoms since we first read it,” says Paradise City’s Nicholas Shumaker. “We are huge fans of Frailty so we were beyond thrilled to find out that Paxton has wanted this to be his next directorial project for some time. We’re excited to work with him, and to continue to do our part to bring the works of Joe Lansdale to screens around the world following the success of Cold In July.”
Emilie Georges, Nicholas Kaiser, Naima Abed, and Shumaker will produce for Paradise City. Brad Wyman is an executive producer. WME will package and represent North American rights. Paxton is represented by UTA. Hanley is represented by Brett Etre of BE Management.
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