the threshold of nearing the development stage ...
The latest gossip in this drizzly West Coast art mecca revolves
around popular P-Town author Jess Gulbranson, who has reportedly
entered into serious talks for options on a movie based on his beloved
science-fiction star, "Mel."
Thus, the longtime dream of many a fan may soon become
The hubbub commenced when renaissance man Gulbranson
signed on as an actor with infamous Portland director Andy Koontz,
whose auteur efforts "Zombie Dawn" and "Them
Damn Zombies" recently took the zombie-schlock genre
The relationship apparently blossomed as Gulbranson
took on increasing screenwriting responsibilities, according to
anonymous independent sources. Koontz was unavailable for comment,
but a source close to the prolific director revealed that "Mel:
The Movie" is, in fact, on the threshold of nearing the development
One who would go on record was Gulbranson's longtime editor, NW
Drizzle's Mark Anderson. "When I first saw the rough drafts
of what was to eventually become 'Mel,'" Anderson said, "my
immediate gut reaction was, 'When is "Mel: The Movie"
While the serial, open-ended nature of Gulbranson's masterwork
poses myriad problems for any filmmaker, the unconfirmed cast-list
sheds some small light on a direction the film might take:
MEL / SMITH: Will Patton
ANNE: Olivia Williams
DIDYMUS: Terence Stamp
FRANK BURLEY: Benicio Del Toro
CLAY: Giovanni Ribisi
DIMPE: Oliver Platt
As is typical with Hollywood, none of the casting choices was available
for comment. Veteran actor Stamp, however, was overheard to utter
in a London Sainsbury's: "Never in this fucking lifetime. It'd
be worse than signing on to the bloody Harry Potter series. Good
luck, Mr. Casting Director!"
Thus, with rampant rumors and wild expectations already soaring
around the Internet, a "Mel" motion picture of any sort
will have a public primed and ready to swamp the multiplexes.
In a typically cryptic statement, delivered from a green velvet
booth during NW Drizzle's Second Anniversary soiree at Portland's
exclusive El Rancho late last month, Gulbranson offered some
slight insight on the forthcoming film.
"O Fortuna, every scene," Gulbranson said. "Vats
of fake blood. Boobies. VHS and DVD. Foreign box-office take!"
Meanwhile and following an annual holiday hiatus, readers can expect
the rough-and-tumble yellow-haired space traveler's saga to continue
on its monthly schedule as the 25-month-old Drizzle embarks upon
February of its third year.
Which pretty much sums up the crumpet regarding all 22 red-sweatshirted
episodes of "Mel" thus far, and the prospects for the
upcoming "Mel: The Movie."
Freelance film correspondent Norris Smith
is based in London.