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White Hotel Makes Progress

Published August 18, 2006 in Movie News
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of respective holders.
The White Hotel The White Hotel
With the major studios purchasing up novels left and right just in case they want to adapt them some time in the future, I must admit that I am a bit surprised that it took so long to get The White Hotel up and running. The book has been researched for the bigscreen for many years and only now has collected enough money, privately might I add, to finally become a motion picture.

(updated corrections below)

The White Hotel to be Adapted

According to Variety, Susan Stewart Potter and writer-director Simon Monjack have collected $20 million to get the D.M. Thomas' acclaimed novel The White Hotel into production.

After a whopping twenty-five years, the film has finally got a start date: October 23rd.

Thomas' surreal drama, published in 1981, revolves around an opera singer who seeks out the services of Sigmund Freud in post-WWI Vienna. Haunted by hallucinatory dreams about a white hotel, she becomes Freud's famous case study Anna G. Together, they unlock the key to figuring out both her memories and premonitions of the future, which include the Holocaust.

Though Potter and Monjack are relatively unknown, throughout its many incarnations, White Hotel has captured the interest of directors including Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Hector Babenco, Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodovar, David Cronenberg and Emir Kusturica.

Two years ago, Potter brokered a deal between Golden and Thomas to allow her to purchase the film rights. Last summer, she brought on the prolific but obscure Philippe Mora to direct. He fell off the project, but was quickly replaced by Monjack two months ago.

The White Hotel
is expected to film in Prague, Milan and Latvia.

For a bit of fun, 'Milan' is my middle name. Coincidence? Probably, yes.

UPDATE: It turns out that some of the info supplied by Variety was erroneous. Susan Stewart Potter contacted us direct with the following corrections:

Variety made a grievous error... attributing the script for this project to the director only. In truth, Susan Stewart Potter is the writer-producer... the script having been penned by Susan Stewart Potter & Simon Monjack.

The real story behind this long-awaited, often stalled or shut down project is actually quite simple. There were two scurrilous producers, John Roberdeau and Robert Geisler, who lost the rights early on, but who continued -- under a straw company -- to attach directors and stars to the project. Bertolucci was ready to roll camera when the rightful owner of the motion picture rights got wind of the production and shut it down -- with a court order. Kusterica, Cronenberg, and others all fell under this ax.

I came along at the right time... just as the rights were becoming legally clear and free... and did a deal with the atty, who held the rights.

Anyway, lots of excitement now that this picture is a go. Thanks for putting it up. Would love the correction re: the authorship of the script, however. If not now, in future, should you write about this project/film.

Thanks for the update Susan!

Stay tuned for updates.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of respective holders.

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