The Hollywood Reporter has just broken the story that Fox 2000 has acquired the film rights to The Monster of Florence based on the 2008 true crime book by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi. And not only do they got the rights to the movie, they also have some heavy hitters coming with; George Clooney is attached to star and Christopher McQuarrie (whose short-lived show Persons Unknown I’m currently devouring on Netflix Watch Instantly) is attached to do the script.
The 2008 book this movie is based on concerns a serial killer that terrorized Florence, Italy starting in the 1970’s. He would catch couples making love in their cars and murder them. The original murder took place in the 70’s, with the murderer stabbing the breast and pubic area an obscene amount of times, and then became a rash of murders in the 80’s, that time resulting in the removal of the vagina from the female victim each time (one time, he even took a breast).
Now that is horrible enough, but it also changed the opinion of Florence in the eyes of its people and outsiders; while looking for the culprit (in which many were accused, but only one ever brought to court and acquitted in the 90’s), a seedy underbelly of the city was discovered that had before been kept secret as they met more people who had disturbing fetishes (shaving pubic hair off of prostitutes, orgies, routine things like that).
The book itself concentrates on the original murders and the new investigation into the crimes opened up in the 2000’s. Just judging by what I’ve read, McQuarrie has his work cut out for him because there is a lot he can mine from; either he can just do a straight murder mystery or they can also throw in all the seedy happenings in Florence. It’d make for a very interesting movie to say the least.
The Monster of Florence has no set production date yet, and it is unsure which part Clooney will play, but considering how underwhelming most murder mystery movies (alliteration!) usually are, I’d welcome a chance to see this come to the screen.
In other news, on a small snippet at the bottom of the article, it says that Clooney’s next starring role may see the big screen sooner than we though. Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants was rumored for a possible late release in 2010, but since confirmed for 2011. While we all thought late 2011, THR says the film will see a release this March from Fox Searchlight. This is odd timing, as they will be releasing Cedar Rapids just a month before, after its Sundance premiere. Its most likely an error, but we will keep you updated.
Would you be willing to sit through The Monster of Florence? And if we have any Italian readers out there, can you shine more light on the story? Frankly, this true crime story has me super intrigued.