Thursday, June 28, 2007

Get Around Round Round I Get Around*

Variety reports that James McTeigue, who assistant-directed the Matrix flicks before getting his break directing V for Vendetta, has been tapped to create a Hollywood production of John Burdett’s Thailand-based crime thriller Bangkok 8, the first in a series of novels featuring cop Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Variety reminds us that in Burdett’s 2003 book, Sonchai “tracks the murderers of his partner, and also a U.S. Marine. The trail leads through Bangkok’s drug and sex trade, and corrupt colleagues.” Millennium Films’ intention, says the paper, “is to adapt several of the books and shoot in Thailand.” Since the publication of 8, the author has penned two more Sonchai outings: Bangkok Tattoo (2005) and the recently released Bangkok Haunts. Read more here.

• “So,” Damien Gay challenges his readers at Crime Down Under, “hands up all those who can name more than one New Zealand crime writer--and you’re not allowed to include Ngaio Marsh.” Hey, don’t feel bad if no names came to mind; I couldn’t think of anyone, either. Which is why Gay’s introduction to five recent releases by Kiwi wordsmiths is so interesting. Paul Cleave? Vanda Symon? I’ve got a lot of reading to do. Meanwhile, find Gay’s wrap-up here.

• From New Zealand all the way to South Africa: Glenn Harper reviews Deon Meyer’s new novel, Devil’s Peak, in his International Noir Fiction blog.

• Fans of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. rejoice: TV Shows on DVD reports that Time-Life and HBO Video have licensed that 1964-1968 spy series from Warner Bros. and will release all 105 episodes in a boxed set, similar to what they did recently with the full, 138-episode run of Get Smart. According to the site, this set will be “sold via direct-response (TV ads and online). We’ve also been told that the show won’t go to retail until the fall of 2008, giving Time-Life approximately a 1-year exclusive window.” Stars Robert Vaughn and David McCallum are said to be involved in assembling bonus material for the set, including a joint interview. Find out more here.

• “HarperCollins plans to reissue all eight of [Lawrence Block’s] novels about the sleepless spy Evan Tanner,” beginning this month, writes John Kenyon of Things I’d Rather Be Doing. The full skinny can be found right here.

• Wyoming novelist Craig Johnson submits his latest Walt Longmire novel, Kindness Goes Unpunished, to blogger Marshall Zeringue’s Page 69 Test.

Shots’ U.S. correspondent, Michael Carlson, this month re-evaluates the writing career of Robert B. Parker, concluding:
I’m not sure, given his prolificacy and the relative thinness of his books, that Parker ever receives his due for his ability to sketch in believable characters with just a few strokes of dialogue, or for his way of keeping a plot going through a series of set-piece scenes, driven by that dialogue. Sure it’s formulaic, and sure it can be irritating to be lectured about relationships, responsibility, restaurants, or the joys of psychoanalysis by a private detective, but I suppose that’s the price we pay.
Click here for more of his commentary on Parker.

• Dutch blogger Jochem van der Steen quizzes Nick Stone on the latter’s new novel, King of Swords. You can find their exchange here.

• Ian Rankin tries to explain the appeal of crime fiction in his introduction to Barry Forshaw’s new Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, excerpted in the London Times.

• And finally, two notes that aren’t strictly about crime fiction, but that will likely appeal to the same audience: (1) The series finale of Aaron Sorkin’s too-short-lived Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip will be broadcast tonight at 10 p.m. EST/PST; and (2) actor Timothy Olyphant, who played sheriff and store owner Seth Bullock on the outstanding three-season HBO-TV series Deadwood, tells fans (yours truly included) who were very disappointed by that show’s cancellation--and were only appeased by news that executive producer David Milch intended to make two feature-length TV-movie follow-ups to the series--that such plans are very much up in the air. Cinematical quotes Olyphant as saying, “I, for better or worse, have the perspective of ‘don’t hold your breath.’” I could insert a string of blasphemous execrations here, à la Al Swearengen, but since I can’t improve on The Rap Sheet’s existing NC-17 rating, why bother?

*Yeah, you know the words. Sing them with me!

1 comment:

wstroby said...

Re: DEADWOOD. I met John Hawkes - who plays Sol Star on the show - in a bar in N.Y. a few months back, when he was in town filming Ridley Scott's AMERICAN GANGSTER, and he told me much the same thing. He said, as far as he knew, Milch had not even begun writing the first DEADWOOD movie. And with all the rumored reshoots on JOHN FROM CINCINNATI (which I like) before its premiere, it's probably unlikely that's changed.