Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Famed Writer Gay Talese, 84, Sells Sex and Murder Book to Spielberg, “American Beauty” Director


Gay Talese, the most dapper journalist in the world, is 84 years young. The famed for New York Times reporter and Esquire writer, and best-seller on the book charts, has just sold a book about sex and murder to Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg. The director will be Sam Mendes, Oscar winner for another Dreamworks movie many years ago called “American Beauty.”

“The Voyeur’s Motel” is the name of the movie, and it’s based on a piece from this week’s New Yorker that comes from a book of the same name which Gay will publish in July. The book is not long– 240 pages– but it details Gay’s correspondence with a man named Gerald Foos beginning in 1980. Foos bought a motel in Aurora, Colorado simply to spy on his guests having sex. He had two wives, and each of them helped him do it. At some point he says he witnessed a murder but never reported it.

Foos is still alive, and now has after all these years authorized Talese to write the story. Talese has his own questions, since after believing the murder story, there’s no record of it anywhere. Did Foos hallucinate it? Did it really happen? That whole aspect is chilling because the entire saga is so fascinating. Talese at 84 remains at the top of his game. I think this book is going to be a huge hit, and the movie will be, too. I’m sure Tom Hanks is already vying for the role of Foos. (Every good actor in Hollywood will want to play him, and the wives will be big roles, too.  Diane Lane, that’s you.)

By all means, read The New Yorker piece. You won’t be able to put it down.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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