Posted on Monday, September 13th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
For the past few months, word has been kicking around Louisiana that William Friedkin would be shooting a new film with Matthew McConaughey called Killer Joe. And now the news is official; Friedkin has lined up McConaughey and Emile Hirsch for the film, which will shoot late this fall.
THR says that a November 8 start date is planned and that the shoot will take place in and around New Orleans.
The Killer Joe script is by Tracy Letts, and follows ” a brother (Hirsch) and sister combo who plot the death of their mother for the insurance money and hire “Killer Joe” Cooper, a cop and contract killer (McConaughey) to do the deed.”
Letts won both a Tony and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2008 for the play August: Osage County. Killer Joe was his first play, written in the early ’90s, and his second was Bug, which he also adapted for William Friedkin in 2007. Bug was also shot in Louisiana.
In a 1998 stage review of Killer Joe, the New York Times called the play “a terrifically tasty potboiler,” further saying “The material could easily register as white-trash Gothic with a comic-book spin, a sort of ”Tobacco Road” according to Wes Craven. Yet while ”Killer Joe” is often deeply funny, it is cheap in neither its humor nor its shock effects, some of which run to the X-rated.”
The text of Killer Joe is on Google Books, so you can check it out there.
Here’s a full synopsis of the play, which certainly sounds like great material for Friedkin. I liked Bug, and can’t wait to see who Friedkin lands for the other key roles in this one. Reading the following it sounds like the character structure might have been changed around a bit, but that’s not too much of a reason to worry.
Killer Joe is a brutally funny and disturbing play, a black comedy of deplorable manners. Chris, his father Ansel, stepmother Sharla, and young sister Dottie are planning poor Mom’s demise. Into their world comes Killer Joe Cooper, full-time cop and part-time assassin. But when they are unable to pay up, Joe demands Dottie as his “retainer.”