One of the most fascinating misfires in Brian De Palma's career is his adaptation of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia. Inspired by the infamous Los Angeles butchering of Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner), it's a lurid, ravishingly beautiful web of the director's trademark sexual intrigue, as Detectives Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) and Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) try to solve a case that LA's most powerful elite may want to be kept open forever.
While the whole is a mush-mouthed interpretation of Ellroy's muscular page-turner, De Palma's film still features a few of his classic set pieces, including one that gruesomely climaxes with a William Finley (Phantom of the Paradise) cameo. Many write the picture off completely, but there's certainly value to be mined from the gorgeous mess.
Now, Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine are taking a break from their Wonder Woman global domination to try and tell the tale of The Black Dahlia from a different angle. I Am the Night is the "based on a true story" account of young Fauna Hodel (India Eisley), who discovers she’s adopted and runs away from home, determined to dig up her true roots. Her search leads to the sinister Dr. George Hodel (Jefferson Mays), a suspect in the Black Dahlia murder (amongst also being a possible candidate for the Zodiac Killer - as Hodel's real life son, a former LA homicide detective, also accused his father of that famous string of slaughters).
Pine plays Jay Singletary, a former Marine-turned-paparazzo who becomes obsessed with Fauna’s story, and enters the terrifying corridors of LA's murderous past with her. Based on the trailer below, Jenkins has crafted a rather visually striking labyrinth of sex, murder, and possible occult happenings that would make BDP swoon.
Take a look:
Along with Jenkins (who's serving as an Exec. Producer), Carl Franklin (One False Move) also helmed two of the Limited Series' seven episodes, with Victoria Mahoney (Claws) taking directorial duties on the rest. The whole thing has a stunningly textured look to it that will match the network's other crime series The Alienist, Good Behavior and Animal Kingdom.
Thanks to the talent attached and story being told, this pulp fiction addict is sold hook, line and sinker. Count me in when I Am the Night hits TNT this coming January.