‘Torso’ Movie Lines Up Director Paul Greengrass

Eliot Ness movie

Paramount is hoping director Paul Greengrass and screenwriter Brian Helgeland – a terrific combo – can launch an Eliot Ness trilogy. The studio wants the Jason Bourne director and L.A. Confidential screenwriter to make another film about Ness, the man who led the Untouchables and helped bring down Al Capone. Greengrass’ film, titled Torso, is based on Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko‘s graphic novel of the same name and follows Ness as he searches for the Torso killer. Here’s everything we know.

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The graphic novel Torso, which follows Elliot Ness after the capture of Capone as he moves on to a serial killer investigation in Cleveland, has been the object of multiple adaptation attempts by various producers. We haven’t talked much about the Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko graphic novel since David Fincher walked away from a possible adaptation in ’09. Rights to the story lapsed at that point, blocking Fincher’s potential version.

Now Torso is coming back to life, and with one of the more exciting talents to make headlines in 2013. David Lowery, the Ain’t Them Bodies Saints writer/director and Upstream Color editor who recently made deals to write Pete’s Dragon and to write and direct The Old Man and the Gun, will adapt and direct. Read More »


Watchmen scribe and voice of Solid Snake David Hayter will write and produce an adaptation of the twenty-year old zombie comic book series Deadworld, according to Variety. I have to admit I didn’t realize the comic was still a going concern until MTV announced in February that Coraline producer Bill Mechanic was working on the project. What the hell is Deadworld, and is it a worthy basis for a film franchise? It’s all after the jump. Read More »

Rights to Fincher’s Torso in Limbo

David Fincher has a thing for serial killers.  Se7en, Zodiac, and you could even argue Dwight Yoakam’s character in Panic Room: each of these films have focused on unhinged human beings who had no compunctions about killing many, many people. One of Fincher’s next projects was going to be an adaptation of Torso, a graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko. Set in the mid-1930s, the novel tells the story of the quest to apprehend the “Torso Murderer,” who left only the torsos of his victims. Eliot Ness, formerly of The Untouchables (at this point in time, Al Capone is already in jail), is the investigating officer on the case.
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Tom Cruise will produce and possibly star in an adaptation of Douglas Preston‘s non-fiction bestseller, The Monster of Florence, for his studio United Artists. When Preston relocated his family to Italy in 2000, he soon became aware of a nearby murder committed years ago by the region’s serial killer, the Monster of Florence. Intrigued, he teamed up with a local obsessive investigative journalist to track him down. This culminated in the duo falling under the suspicion of authorities, with the journalist ultimately being thrown behind bars and pegged for a short time as the “Monster.”

You may recall seeing these highly engrossing events reported on Dateline NBC. Clearly, there are parallels to David Fincher’s Zodiac and its titular killer, as Italy’s elusive Monster targeted and killed seven pairs of lovers from 1974 to 1985. Author Thomas Harris found inspiration in the case for 1999’s Hannibal. No word on a director or what role Cruise would play, if he decides to star.

via Trades/Publishers Weekly

Discuss: Anyone read The Monster of Florence? Cool project for Cruise? We mentioned the Hughes Brothers’ From Hell earlier. What’s your favorite serial killer film? Maniac, anyone?

According to an article on Cleveland.com, Matt Damon is set to star as a post-Capone Eliot Ness in Torso, Paramount‘s adaptation of the graphic novel by Brian Bendis and Marc Andreyko. Apparently producer Bill Mechanic would like the film to shoot in Ohio, where the famed “Torso Murderer” dismembered 12 people in the mid-to-late ’30s, but there’s a problem with tax incentives.

On top of the casting announcement, this news is surprising for three reasons: 1) Until now, Torso seemed to be in a state of flux. 2) Peter ended the silence about David Fincher‘s testy ongoing relationship with Paramount per Benjamin Button, and until now, Fincher was attached to direct for the studio. Fincher is tellingly not mentioned in the piece. 3) Filming is said to start early next year in Ohio or possibly in ever-Hollywood-friendly Michigan, with a budget reportedly set at $100 million, which mirrors Zodiac‘s, a box office disappointment.

Discuss: Given the macabre and difficult material (the killer was never found), this budget surprises me. If Fincher’s not directing, as we speculate, who would be a solid replacement? Damon for Ness, no complaints here from Slashfilm.