Details on Bret Easton Ellis-Penned L.A. Noir ‘The Canyons’ Surface as Casting Begins for Summer Shoot
Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 by Angie Han
As the Paul Schrader-directed, Bret Easton Ellis-penned “L.A. noir micro budget” film approaches its summer start date, fresh details have been revealed about the story, cast of characters, and release plan. Titled The Canyons, the “psycho-sexual thriller” will center around a circle of young and glamorous but deeply messed-up Angelenos. In other words, exactly what you’d expect from a noir film written by Ellis. More info after the jump.
The Playlist reports that the film will involve “both crime and redemption elements,” and that though we can definitely expect full-frontal male and female nudity, it “won’t be employed salaciously.” Most of the plot details are being kept under wraps, but the open casting call for five major characters offers a few clues. There’s Christian, a good-looking, hedonistic “power player and major manipulator” who lives off of his sizable trust fund; Christian’s girlfriend Tara, an intelligent but withdrawn ex-model; Ryan, an aspiring actor starring in a film financed by Christian; Gina, who works for Christian; and Lindsay, a yoga teacher. Complicating matters is the fact that everyone is in love with someone else: Gina likes Ryan, who likes Tara, who’s dating Christian, who’s screwing Lindsay.
Back in January, Ellis named porn star James Deen as his “first choice to play Christian or Ryan,” roles Ellis said would require Deen to “act and be full-frontal naked banging girls and guys realistically.” However, Deen’s involvement is far from a sure thing at this point. According to The Playlist, Deen has not spoken with Schrader about the project. The fact that Deen has little mainstream acting experience could prove to be an issue, as the film is reportedly “very much an actor’s piece.”
Shooting on The Canyons is scheduled for July 9-31. In an effort to keep their vision pure, Ellis, Schrader, and producer Braxton Pope plan to both finance and release the film themselves, Netflix/VOD-style. Check back on The Canyons Facebook page for updates. The film is one of two in the works for Ellis and Schrader; the pair are also collaborating on Bait, about a young man who takes revenge on the wealthy by throwing them into shark-infested waters.