(Photo used courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)
At 81 years old, William Friedkin is still kicking, delivering some of the most provocative filmmaking of his career. Killer Joe was the second movie Friedkin adapted from a Tracy Letts play (after the criminally underrated Bug), and now the French Connection director is looking to bring the titular hitman character (who was played as a grinning malevolent force by Matthew McConaughey in the film) to a television near you.
Friedkin is developing the series with Million Dollar Baby producer Bobby Maresco, taking the character out of the East Texas trailer park and moving him back to Houston, where Joe's both the chief of detectives and a killer for hire, serving an upper class clientele. In an interview at the Lumiere Festival, the writer/director said:
"It's set among the millionaires and billionaires, who have their wives or business competitors killed. Joe is a hired killer who frames bad guys for the murders who can't get arrested for something else, or he makes them look like suicides...he becomes a kind of avenging angel in the series because he doesn't just kill anybody for hire. He has to feel that guy in some way deserves to go."
Hmmm. Sounds like a bit of a change from the relentless psychopath who made Gina Gershon deep throat a chicken leg. Even sadder news is the fact that Friedkin intends to cast a new actor in the role of Joe. No word on which network the director intends for his series to air on (though he does comment during the talk that he's prone to watch a lot of Netflix these days). Friedkin's supposed to be working on a "series bible" in the coming weeks with Maresco's help, so hopefully we'll have more news sooner, rather than later.