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Frank Turner Hollon on "Barry Munday"

Over the weekend I had a chance to chat with my old pal Frank Turner Hollon while he signed copies of his latest book, "Blood and Circumstance." Since 1999, Hollon has been publishing short, punchy tales, ripe with pointed philosophical observations, and often relating to the legal profession (which he also practices). But Hollon is to the legal thriller genre what Larry McMurtry is to westerns--and you never know what pranks he's going to pull next.

Case in point: his 2003 novel "Life is a Strange Place." Written as an antidote to his ultra-serious "The God File," (in which a wrongly-imprisoned man ruminates on the existence of a Supreme Being), "Strange Place" is a bizarre romp about a man who loses his family jewels after being struck in the tender regions with a trumpet, then gets hit with a paternity suit. Dwarf wrestling is also involved, but you'll have to read the book to find out how.

Of all his books--several of which would convert well to features--it's this crazy thing that Hollywood came after. Initial talks (a couple years ago) had Jim Carrey reportedly interested. More recently, as the project has taken on the title of "Barry Munday," Luke Wilson has become attached in the title role.

According to Hollon, at one point, the production company, Prospect Pictures, had HBO on the line for financing and distribution. But that all came to a halt in a meeting with the screenwriter and director, Chris D'Arienzo, when HBO asked for a simple change--that Barry not lose his testicles, after all.

"How could you do that?" Hollon said, laughing. "That happens on the first page of the book. That's what the rest of the story is about! To his credit, the guy said no, he couldn't do that, so things were stalled for a while." But now it seems things are back on track, with shooting scheduled to begin later this year. It would make a great comedy--and Frank owes me at least one steak dinner--so lets hope things pan out this time.

Posted by on February 5, 2007 4:32 PM
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