Bill Paxton made his directorial debut back in 2001 with the mostly-excellent chiller Frailty, and followed it in 2005 with equally solid golfing drama The Greatest Game Ever Played. Since then he's seemed content in front of the camera, but he's now scored his third outing calling the shots, adapting Joe R. Lansdale's novel The Bottoms. Paxton's Frailty collaborator Brent Hanley has once again provided the screenplay.
Lansdale's book, first published in 2000, is set in small-town Texas during the Great Depression, and involves young Harry Crane stumbling across the trail of a killer. Racial tensions are stirred up when the eccentric Mose is lynched for the murders by a Klan mob. As the killings continue however, Harry's attention turns to the local horror legend of the forest-dwelling "Goat Man".
“Joe Lansdale’s stories and characters are vivid, original and indelible," says Paxton. "Brent and I have been looking to team up again since Frailty, and when we read The Bottoms we knew we had hit pay dirt. With a story and script this good, we have a chance to make a bona fide classic. I couldn’t be more excited!”
Production company Paradise City recently mounted another Lansdale adaptation in Jim Mickle's Cold In July. "We’ve been obsessed with The Bottoms since we first read it,” says company honcho Nicholas Shumaker. “We are huge fans of Frailty so we were beyond thrilled to find out that Paxton has wanted this to be his next directorial project for some time. We’re excited to work with him, and to continue to do our part to bring the works of Joe Lansdale to screens around the world.”
There's no word yet of whether Paxton will also appear in the film - or of any other casting - but shooting is planned for later this year.