Joe Eszterhas Returns To Tell Story Of The Virgin Of Guadalupe

Joe Eszterhas was once the face of Hollywood excess. The Basic Instinct screenwriter was equally famous for drugs, womanizing and his multi-million dollar paychecks for scripts that either languished unproduced or became films like Showgirls, Jade and An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn. But he quit the excessive lifestyle, moved to Ohio (much of his childhood was spent in Cleveland) and suffered throat cancer, the battle with which helped him find religion. Writing only one produced screenplay in the last few years (Children of Glory), he instead published a book about his new faith, the title of which, Crossbearer, manages to preserve his trademark self-aggrandizing tone. Now, according to Variety, he's poised to return to screenwriting with a 'labor of love' script about the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Eszaterhas is working with MPower Pictures, the outfit run by Passion of the Christ producer Steve McEveety. THR quotes Eszterhas saying he has been "hoping for some time to write a film that is both entertaining and inspiring." The untitled film has no director or cast attached, but McEveety says "Guadalupe changed the course of history for the indigenous peoples of Mexico. It had a transformative effect on their culture, and especially their faith." So it's an important story that will be the guy that wrote Showgirls.

According to legend, in 1531 the peasant Juan Diego encountered a vision of a teen girl blazing with light. She asked for a church to be built in her honor, and Diego realized this was the Virgin Mary. A bishop asked him to prove the story, and the Virgin instructed Diego to gather flowers, which he carried to the bishop in his cloak. Upon presenting them to the bishop, Diego found the image of the Virgin imprinted in the fabric. Diego's cloak remains in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, which was rebuilt in the mid-'70s to look like a giant Catholic sports arena.