Posted on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Good lord, does Snuff sound horrifying. Fabien Martorell is co-writing (with Karina Wilson) and directing an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk‘s novel about a faded porn star who sets up a giant gang bang in order to break the record for sexual partners in one film, and three of the men that are possible partners. Now the film has a cast: Thora Birch, Daryl Hannah, and, as one of the guys in line to, uh, appear in the film, we’ve got Tom Sizemore. Yeah, you read that right.
The director talked to chuckpalahniuk.net and offered up the casting news. Daryl Hannah will play the porn star, Cassie Wright, while Thora Birch will play her assistant/manwrangler Shiela. And Tom Sizemore, who has his own experiences with the porn industry, will be Mr. 600 — that is, the last of the 600 guys in line to get it on with Cassie.
The character histories and some of their secrets are revealed over the course of the story. The director says,
SNUFF is a Suspense/Thriller sets in the gritty world of adult entertainment. Fabien Martorell would like to shoot SNUFF as a single “closed door” set. The use of flashbacks will aide in the communication of character history, and help sustain a dramatic rhythm.
Here’s the recap of the novel, which just sounds utterly harrowing.
Snuff follows three men who are waiting to immortalize themselves into pornography history as they wait to bed Cassie Wright, a former porn queen who has fallen into harder times. Each chapter follows a different guy (Mr. 600, Mr. 72, and Mr. 137), as well as Sheila, the female wrangler who dictates who is the next to be filmed with Cassie Wright. As the three men wait, each starts to divulge their true reasons for wanting to be filmed, as well as discuss the sordid history of Cassie Wright and her reason for suddenly dropping out of the pornography industry for a year.
I haven’t read the book, but I can see how you might shoot this so that there’s really not much graphic sex shown. Sure, the idea is graphic as hell, but we’ve already got Sex: The Annabel Chong Story, and that real-life tale is part of what inspired this novel. Still, this sounds like a difficult film to make, and to watch. Way back in 2007, Chuck Palahniuk described the novel, and said that he envisioned Kathleen Turner as the porn star. Daryl Hannah is a much better choice. Beware — the following comment block is a little spoilerish:
It’s about the shooting one of the worlds largest [pornographic] movies. It’s basically about three men waiting in the green room among 600 men. Over the course of the first act you learn that this actress plans to die during the production and that most likely one of these three men was a child she conceived and put up for adoption. He’s been trying to contact her for years. She’s never acknowledged him and he’s so desperate he’s shown up for this casting call to try to rescue her before she dies.