The Skinny on Gun Monkeys

You may have noticed that I haven't talked much here lately about my TV and screen work. That's because I don't feel comfortable talking about projects that are in development and not yet a certainty. But since CrimeSpree broke the news about me scripting the movie version of GUN MONKEYS, I've been getting a lot of emails asking about me about the project.

I've always been a huge fan of Victor's book. In fact, we first met at the Edgars, where GUN MONKEYS was up for an award, and have been good friends ever since. About a year or so ago, I optioned the book and wrote a spec screenplay adaptation, which my agent then shopped all over town.  The script was strong enough that it got me "meet and greet" meetings at studios and production companies everywhere…and nearly got me a gig rewriting a Major Studio Action Movie, but that fell through (however, the aborted Major Studio Action Movie rewrite got me into business with the Director, with whom I have been out pitching TV series concepts). More on that whirlwind experience another time…

Eventually Two Hot Young Producers with deals all over town eventually optioned my GUN MONKEYS script, and with it my underlying option on Victor's book. They spent several months in negotiations with A Major Hollywood Star who was interested in directing the film…but not starring in it. That deal fell through at the last minute. 

Now the producers have attracted the interest of a Major Distributor and a Major Hollywood Agency is packaging GUN MONKEYS. They've also signed director Ryuhei Kitamura, who has an astonishing visual style but is better known in Japan than he is here (his only U.S. film was last year's horror flick "Midnight Meat Train"). That will change soon, whether it's with GUN MONKEYS or another film. I'm told that the script and the director make an attractive package and, for the last few weeks, another Major Hollywood Star has been circling the project. If he signs on, things should come together very quickly…but that's a big IF.  

I don't know whether all of this will lead to the movie finally getting made, but it has been a interesting ride for Victor and me. It has also given me a refresher course in the feature film business, which I've discovered is a completely different planet than the TV world that I have been living on for so long. More on that some other time…

3 thoughts on “The Skinny on Gun Monkeys”

  1. I’m far from an expert on adaptations, but Lee has done an excellent job in getting Gun Monkeys in shape to be a film. It’s a lot more work than just taking the words from the book and reformatting them into a screenplay. Good work, Lee.
    Let’s hope the film gets made, is a hit, and leads to a really cool series. Lee can be the show-runner.

  2. Kitamura’s VERSUS is an absolute blast, a dumb-fun action movie that I try to watch at least once a year. Looking forward to this!


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