Brothers Producer Matt Battaglia Lines Up a Few New Projects
by Ethan Anderton
December 4, 2009
With Jim Sheridan's drama Brothers starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman set to hit theaters on Friday, THR reports that co-producer Matt Battaglia has a plethora of upcoming projects on his plate. Potential projects include adaptations of the novels Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff and Or I'll Dress You in Mourning by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, as well as The Marlboro Marine, based on the story of Cpl. Blake Miller and a Los Angeles Times article by Luis Sinco. One project, an untitled Hunter Scott project, even has Battaglia working with J.J. Abrams. Read on for more specific details.
Bad Monkeys centers on a female protagonist who struggles with her alter ego and, after being arrested for murder, claims to belong to a secret society that fights evil. The New York Times called the novel "a science fiction Catcher in the Rye. " So if you check it out, then it should have quite a lot to live up to.
Or I'll Dress You in the Mourning is a story of international acclaim published some 40 years ago based on the Rocky-like story of Manuel Benitez, who rose from poverty to become Spain's most popular bullfighter known as El Cordobés ("The Cordobese" - "The Cordovan"). Tron Legacy writers Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal will adapt the inspirational story.
The Marlboro Marine tells the the story of Cpl. Blake Miller whose Marlboro-smoking face was captured by a photograph that was at the center of a media blitz gracing the covers of more than 150 newspapers worldwide. The article was nominated for a Pulitzer and won the Sidney Hillman Foundation Journalism Award making Miller a reluctant icon overnight, but he began to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and became disabled upon returning to his Kentucky hometown. Apparently Battaglia sees this as a love story about the struggle of a man back from war attempting to reconnect with his childhood sweetheart.
The untitled Hunter Scott project has Battaglia teaming up with J.J. Abrams on the story of a 12-year-old boy (Scott) who, while working on a school project, unearths crucial information about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The project is in turnaround from Universal, and the producers are exploring new ways to get it off the ground.
I have to say out of all these new projects, the one that sounds the most intriguing is Bad Monkeys. Secret societies fighting evil is a concept that is right up my alley. Not because I fight evil, but because it would be great if there were really organizations like that in real life. Frankly, The Marlboro Marine sounds a little to typical of a war veteran story and should've been made with the rest of the Iraq war movies a couple years ago. And we've seen plenty of other good movies about the struggle of returning home after war, so this is just seems like a tired concept revisited at a time when audiences are sick of hearing about the war anyway.
Either way, Battaglia has a lot on his plate coming up next and it sounds like he'll be making a choice about which project to take on officially very soon. In the meantime, he'll be waiting with the rest of us to see how audiences respond to Brothers this weekend. Which one of these projects do you want to see more?
Bad Monkeys looks like the only project worth a look, the other 3 sound really boring. A scifi Catcher in the Rye is a perfect tease for our generation though so that's definitely peaked my interest.
peloquin on Dec 4, 2009
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