Friday, July 22, 2016

Bill Loehfelm's "Let the Devil Out"

Bill Loehfelm is the author of Doing the Devil’s Work, The Devil in Her Way, The Devil She Knows, Bloodroot, and Fresh Kills. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, the writer AC Lambeth, and plays drums in a rock-’n-’roll band.

His new book, Let the Devil Out, is the fourth book in the Maureen Coughlin series.

Here Loehfelm shares some ideas for bringing the Maureen Coughlin books to the big (or small) screen:
“Why don’t we put her in charge?”
– Private Hudson, Aliens

From the beginning of the series, I’ve felt Rooney Mara would be the best possible Maureen Coughlin. There’s a dark, volatile incandescence to Mara that’s terrifying, exciting, and perfect and my opinion on that hasn’t changed.

So for this post, for the fourth book in the series, I’ve been thinking in a different direction, of a big, fun way to play with the idea of the Maureen Coughlin books coming to the screen. Who, if I could pick anyone, would I want in charge of the project? I think it’d be fascinating, and probably not a little bit difficult to see someone else interpret and present my material, see them rebuild the world I’ve built according to their own vision. How would it look, feel, and sound? That would be such a crazy, challenging experience, as a novelist, to share like that.

I started out thinking of directors. My first thought was Michael Mann, who’s done a couple of my favorite movies, Heat and Collateral. After seeing him shoot L.A. and Miami, I’d love to see him shoot New Orleans, especially since so much of the series takes place at night. He takes time with character building and with the smaller, human stories that unwind over the course of an exciting crime story. David Fincher is another choice, his films are so immersive, and for how well he does with character. He is certainly not afraid of the dark, both lighting and material. I think Fincher takes violence and its consequences very seriously, which would be important to me.

But over the past couple of years, I’ve thought a lot about what it would be like turning control of the series over to a woman for the TV or movie version. I’d love to see it in the hands of a woman producer/director/writer, an artist who could really put her personal stamp on it. Someone like Charlize Theron or Angelina Jolie. Another great choice would be Kathryn Bigelow, a genius with tension, action, and difficult subject matter. I mean, Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, and the original Point Break? I’d really love to see what Robin Wright could do producing and directing the Maureen Coughlin series. She’s done such amazing work in every way on House of Cards, which Fincher helped bring to Netflix, so we see how time, and Hollywood, is a flat circle. And both Theron and Wright would be great actors to portray Maureen’s detective mentor, Christine Atkinson.

Another producer’s name that jumped to mind is Gale Ann Hurd. These days she’s a driving force behind The Walking Dead, but she’s also responsible for helping get Sarah Connor of The Terminator films, and Ellen Ripley of the Alien franchise to the big screen. Both of those characters have been huge influences on the character. Their DNA is in Maureen’s blood for sure.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Loehfelm's website.

The Page 69 Test: Fresh Kills.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil in Her Way.

--Marshal Zeringue