'The Departed' Scribe William Monahan Offers Updates On The 'Evel Knievel' Project And More

Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan's latest film, Mojave, a rough and mean meta thriller, opens in theaters next week. The writer is known for such films as The Departed and Kingdom of Heaven, but in 2000 he had a novel published that couldn't be more different from those pictures. "Light House: A Trifle" is a wild story – a farce with writers, criminals, a prostitute, and an unhappy married couple running an inn. An adaptation was in the works before Monahan's novel was even published, but sadly it never came to fruition.

After the jump, William Monahan discusses Light HouseThe White Devil, and the Evel Knievel project.

In 1998, Monahan adapted his own novel and Gore Verbinski (The Weatherman) was going to direct Light House for Warner Bros.. The director was coming off of Mousehunt, and although Light House has a different sense of humor than that comedy, Verbinski probably would've done wonders with the material.

As for whether we'll ever see the film happen, Monahan told /Film recently that he's hopeful:

I do actually see that being adapted. I'm actually forming a new development production company now, which is going to have a finance component. I think one of the things we do have in the bin — in our sense, not the English sense, for when the bin means what you're throwing out — is Light House. That's something I really want to do. I always put comedy into whatever I do, but the idea of doing straight comedy instead of mixing the genres is a pretty good idea. It is a pretty good bedroom farce.

Monahan starting his own production company is also good news. The director ran into some problems on his two directorial efforts, London Boulevard and Mojave, so perhaps this could lead to him having more control over his projects.

We should also expect to see more novels from the writer in the future:

Yeah, I am going to write more novels. I've been concentrating recently on original scripts and some fiction — that's what I've been doing lately, apart from the nine other things I've been doing. You know, I hit 55 in November, so you really start to think about what you want to do next. At this point, you've done all the experimenting... Well, you could just call it the experiment of what you want to do. You want to make sure you're writing what you want to leave behind you.

One of those nine other projects mentioned is the Evel Knievel project, based on the 1977 book, "Evel Knievel On Tour," written by Sheldon Saltman. When the biopic came up in conversation, Monahan was very enthusiastic about the story:

Oh yeah, are you kidding me? Evel Knievel? [Laughs.] The man is zipped on pills, has got a cane full of liquor, and he's willing to break every bone in his body for a quarter of a million dollars at anytime. He's almost like a Mark Twain character. It's great. I couldn't resist it. Paramount is putting that together right now, and Paramount has also got my script, The White Devil, which is based on a New Yorker article, called "The Throw Aways."

Sarah Stillman wrote The New Yorker article mentioned above, which is about cops enlisting young offenders as informants and placing them in highly dangerous situations they shouldn't be in. There's no word on when we'll see the Evel Knievel film, possibly directed by Martin Scorsese, or The White Devil, but both are promising projects we'll keep an eye.Check back soon for our full conversation with William Monahan.