EXCLUSIVE: Take a prurient peek at the first Netflix trailer for Voyeur, the Josh Koury & Myles Kane-directed documentary feature which had its premiere at the New York Film Festival and opens in a handful of theaters and on the streaming site December 1. The film follows iconic journalist Gay Talese as he researched and wrote The Voyeur’s Motel, which chronicled a Colorado voyeur named Gerald Foos. A fan of Thy Neighbor’s Wife, Foos invited Talese to observe the motel he built and operated primarily so he could watch guests having sex, through ceiling vents. Foos fancied himself as an observer of human behavior, but he sometimes did more than observe. Among other things, he apparently was complicit in a murder which occurred when he flushed the drugs of a dealer down the toilet and that dealer blamed his girlfriend and strangled her.
This story line seems all the more lurid and timely with the sex harassment scandals that are toppling power players daily and dominating the Hollywood landscape. This is also the documentary that KO’d a $1 million payday Talese had coming when he sold movie rights to his book to DreamWorks, with Sam Mendes set to direct and Steven Spielberg to produce a film with connective tissue to Mendes’ Oscar-winning feature debut American Beauty. Talese cooperated in the docu because he first wrote about Foos in an April 2016 New Yorker article. The author told Deadline he was persuaded to cooperate because the film was about him and wasn’t supposed to imperil the book’s movie prospects. When Mendes got a look at the film by Koury & Kane, he decided that the documentary detailed in real life the story he was going to tell. Mendes abruptly exited along with DreamWorks, and Talese never got the $1 million paycheck. It looks like all that drama, and Foos’ unhappiness with the finished product, is all part of the docu.
Here’s the poster: