Archive for March, 2001

Message from M.A.C. – March 6, 2001

Tuesday, March 6th, 2001

Shooting has started in Chicago on ROAD TO PERDITION!  As of March 5, 2001, the Sam Mendes directed DreamWorks production — based on my graphic novel (drawn by the gifted Richard Piers Rayner) — is in production in the Chicago area.  Shooting will last into June, with a December 2001 release anticipated.  I will visit the set (probably in April) and we will post photos.  The Zanucks are producing this project, hand-picked by Steven Spielberg.

Troma Entertainment is distributing REAL TIME: SIEGE AT LUCAS STREET MARKET.   A few theaters will play the feature, but this is primarily a DVD release.   Many long hours were put into the authoring of the DVD (which I supervised at Conwood studio in Iowa City, where Todd Schoemaker…a veteran of several M.A.C. productions…made the magic).  The REAL TIME DVD is the first 100% multi-angle DVD, with tons of features including commentaries by myself, stars Brinke Stevens and Larry Coven, and our core filmmaking group: Phil Dingeldein, Steven Henke, Greg Ballard and Jeff High.  Even Matt Clemens got into the act, though no one quite knows what he does on any of the movies.  The audio book of the source short story, “Inconvenience Store,” was generously provided by Brilliance, and a Ms. Tree comic book story is also included.  Also audition excerpts, deleted scenes, alternate takes, and on and on.  I don’t think any low-budget indie has done anything this elaborate on DVD.

The new Nate Heller, ANGEL IN BLACK, is in stores now!  The hardcover has received raves from Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, the latter preferring my take on the Black Dahlia to a certain other author’s.

Jeff Gelb and I are doing a sort of follow-up to Jeff’s HOT BLOOD anthology series (which were erotic horror stories) with FLESH & BLOOD (erotic noir stories).  The first one is out in April from Warner/Mysterious Press — a trade paperback.  Lots of big names — Larry Block, Loren Estleman, Stu Kaminsky, Don Westlake, and many others.

THE PEARL HARBOR MURDERS (starring amateur sleuth Edgar Rice Burroughs), from Berkley Prime Crime, will be out in time for the Memorial Day release of the big Pearl Harbor movie whose coattails I’m riding; and THE MUMMY RETURNS is coming in June.

New projects: I’m working on another Heller, in which he returns to Chicago (at the request of many fans) for some mob crime doings; right now I’m calling it CHICAGO LOWDOWN, but we’ll see.  No famous crime this time — it’s about the Kefauver hearings and the death of Heller’s cop friend, Bill Drury (a real albeit not famous unsolved crime). I hope to do a novelization of ROAD TO PERDITION; I have a John Woo movie novel to write; and the next “disaster” mystery, which takes place on the Lusitania (the Coconut Grove fire entry, which features Eliot Ness, will be done eventually).

Several scripts of mine are getting Hollywood interest  — including JOHNNY DYNAMITE, the rights to which have reverted to me after Disney failed to make it happen, and BLUE CHRISTMAS — and Ms. Tree may…that’s MAY…be heading to TV as a series for a major cable network.

I am also trying to mount another indie this summer, a REAL TIME follow-up with a top-secret subject matter.

Barb has a great collection of short stories out from Five Star — TOO MANY TOMCATS — and several other Five Star anthologies are coming, including MURDER — HIS AND HERS (with stories by both of us, some collaborative) and BLUE CHRISTMAS (gathering the Richard Stone short stories and a few other holiday tales).

Also, watch for A CENTURY OF NOIR edited by Mickey Spillane and myself, and a Mike Hammer anthology with an intro by yours truly.  Plus a Five Star anthology that gathers the previous uncollected Spillane novellas that didn’t make it into TOMORROW I DIE.

It’s been a long time since my son Nate and I have updated the site…and if you peruse the above you’ll know why!

Let me know what you think of ANGEL IN BLACK — I think it’s one of the best, and certainly the darkest, Hellers.  And if you don’t have a DVD player, buy one now — so you can watch REAL TIME!