Sony feature executives-turned-producers and Los Angeles natives Amy Pascal and Elizabeth Cantillon have teamed to produce a TV series project about 1960s and 1970s L.A. based on the books by Eve Babitz. The four books — Eve’s Hollywood, Slow Days, Fast Company, Sex And Rage, and LA Woman — have been optioned through Sony Pictures TV’s TriStar Television.
L.A.-born and raised in an artistic family with famed composer Igor Stravinsky as godfather, Babitz went on to become an author known for her loosely fictional, witty, memoir-style writing about her life as a writer, artist, party girl and muse in Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s, romancing the likes of Jim Morrison, Steve Martin, Harrison Ford and Ed & Paul Ruscha. She was only 20 when a photograph of her playing chess in the nude with the artist Marcel Duchamp turned her into icon of modern art and sexual liberation.
The four Eve Babitz books were originally published during the 1970s and early 1980s, and Eve’s Hollywood was recently republished by the New York Review Books Classics.
“Anyone who knows Amy and me is familiar with our deep affection for L.A.,” said Cantillon. “And, having grown up here and known each other since high school, this seemed like the perfect thing for us to do together. Eve captures the spirit of Los Angeles, specifically, the feeling of what it’s like to grow up here and see it not as a wasteland but a wonderland.”
At TriStar TV, the project will be overseen by Suzanne Patmore Gibbs, who has made projects reflecting female points of view from female auspices a priority. The recently launched unit’s first pilot, Good Girls Revolt at Amazon, from Dana Calvo, Darlene Hunt and Lynda Obst, also is a female-centered period piece — it’s a magazine drama dealing with a landmark sexual discrimination case in 1970.
“Elizabeth is one of the most talented and intelligent producers I have ever had the good fortune to work with,” Pascal said. “And to be working together with her on this is literally a dream come true for both of us. Eve’s stories are so smart and witty and she captures LA in the ’60s and ’70s in such a unique and brilliant manner – I cannot wait to get going on this project.”
Cantillon and Pascal have a long-standing working relationship on the executive side during their tenures at Turner Pictures and Columbia. Now as Sony-based producers, they are collaborating on the sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl In The Spider Web, along with Scott Rudin and Yellowbird.
Through her shingle The Cantillon Co., Cantillon also is producing Concussion starring Will Smith; Gran Turismo, based on the popular video game; the film adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale; The Trap with Phyllis Nagy set to pen the script; and Love May Fail with Emma Stone attached to star.
Pascal Pictures’ film slate also includes the Ghostbusters reboot, directed by Paul Feig, which Pascal is co-producing with Ivan Reitman; the next installment of the Spider-Man franchise which Pascal is producing with Sony and Marvel; and a film adaptation of the thriller novel Maestra by S.L. Knight.
Babitz — who has largely stayed out of the spotlight following a 1997 accident that left her with severe burns — and her books are repped by Erica Silverman at Trident Media Group.