Bill Tench looks like he has the world weighing on his shoulders in season two of Mindhunter. The hunch, the looks of worry and distress, you can feel the restrained F.B.I. agent often coming so close to breaking, especially during a stunning scene in which he confronts, not questions, Charles Manson. The character remains endlessly fascinating to watch, as does the rest of Mindhunter.

Season two marks another one of the many collaborations between actor Holt McCallany and director David Fincher, which is a relationship going back to Alien 3. In-person, McCallany is just as captivating as he is on screen. He has such a great voice, so after hanging onto his every word during our interview with him, I left the Mindhunter junket thinking, “No wonder David Fincher loves filming this guy.” Today, he’s perhaps the closest we have to old school actors like, to name an example, Burt Lancaster, sharing a similar combination of authority and vulnerability. McCallany looks and sounds like a movie star straight out of the ’50s, making him all the more perfect for Bill Tench.

I only saw a handful of episodes before speaking with the actor, hence no questions about the scene with Charles Manson, but he discussed with us the Son of Sam sequence, his longtime collaboration with David Fincher, and Bill Tench’s worldview.

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Butcher's Crossing

Joe Penhall has been hired by Focus Features to adapt the John Williams‘ 1960 Western novel Butcher’s Crossing, which Sam Mendes might direct. The New York Times called the book “the first and best revisionist western” and “harsh and relentless yet muted in tone,” noting that “Butcher’s Crossing paved the way for Cormac McCarthy.”  Penhall is notable for writing the screenplay adaptation for Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, as well as Some Voices and Enduring Love.

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cave_hillcoat_penhall

Now that The Road is finally about to get a release, director John Hillcoat and screenwriter Joe Penhall are moving on to their next projects. Variety reports that Penhall is potentially writing a remake of the 1973 French heist/romance picture La bonne année, about a thief planning to rob a Cannes jewelers after his release from prison, for star Daniel Craig. We can never have too many heist pictures, even remakes, so I’m all for it. Meanwhile, Hillcoat has a couple of interesting things on the burner, too. Read More »

deep_water_nichols

Patricia Highsmith must surely be one of the most adapted authors in the history of cinema with her Ripley books alone giving us five theatrical features. Her novel Strangers on a Train has also been filmed a good few times, with varying degrees of success and fidelity. The most famous version, not to mention the most brilliant was Hitchcock’s film, and there is also a likely-redundant do-over currently in development. There really are some foolhardy folk in the movie industry, aren’t there?

As yet unfilmed, I believe, is her novel Deep Water, now over fifty years old without a single adaptation. This will change in the coming months, however, as Mike Nichols has been attached to realise it cinematically with Joe Penhall, writer of the upcoming adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, set to handle scripting duties for him. Nichols we can all vouch for, and Penhall’s certainly drawing some positive attentions.

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