Sinister Cinema: Heresy

In February, when I was generally distracted, the publisher Vince Emery passed along a link to a Hollywood Reporter article on the possible or upcoming movie of the Charles Willeford novel The Burnt Orange Heresy.

Who knows if it’ll make it over all the hurdles to the finish line, and if it does, if it’ll do the book some justice or fall kind of flat like the movie very loosely adapted from Manchette’s The Prone Gunman?

They’ve got Christopher Walken signed on, which is good (got to hope he gets another great monolog or two to add to his list), but they’ve changed his character name and moved the action from Florida to Italy. Since the movie is about art (and the novel is about art criticism) I suppose they felt that visually and culturally Italy would shout “Art!” better than the Sunshine State.

Hey, good luck with that. You start making changes. . . .

I wonder if the protagonist of the action will remain Puerto Rican? I have had tucked away in a corner of my brain the idea that John Leguizamo might make solid casting as the art critic (yeah, yeah, he was born in Columbia, but by Hollywood standards that’s reasonably close).

Some years ago I spotted Leguizamo walking past with a pal of his when I had the Hammett Tour standing in Union Square, looking up at the St. Francis Hotel. A short guy, in town for a one-man show in a local theatre.

He could do it, but I’d bet at least a five spot that the ethnic origins will get tossed into the juggling ring.

Maybe the guy will supposedly be French. Who knows?

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