Little did I expect to be asked to write a screenplay about the John F. Kennedy assassination to debut during the upcoming 50th anniversary.
My immediate reaction: “That could be a disaster and a bore, and easily ridiculed. I mean, who wants to see JFK again?
After sleeping on it, the idea intrigued me. How could such a film be done?
What if it’s not a documentary or a docu-drama about the assassination itself, but focused on the honest-to-God Downardian weirdness of it all?
Apparently the title was already concocted: Dallas in Wonderland. Perfect.
We focused on the work of John Armstrong, who was earlier seen in the Feral House publication, The Assassinations edited by Jim DiEugenio and Lisa Pease.
We accessed some extraordinary material about an unproduced tabloid television segment about Jack Ruby by Sondra London.
We recalled discussions with the remarkable James Shelby Downard, who’s now a character in the film, during a lengthy drive through Tennessee and Mississippi.
Then we put on our Hitchcockian fez and concocted a thriller.
It took months, but I wrote and rewrote the script, with the help of Ryan Page. How to describe it? The new production company, 13th Sign, who loves it, calls it a “conspiracy thriller.” As far as I’m concerned, it’s more Eraserhead than Jason Bourne.
It’s a dream come true, and even better, some media jackass, insulted the film before one frame was even shot, or the script was read, and it’s being held up as a competitive feature to the Tom Hanks produced pro-Warren Commission JFK assassination picture, Parkland.
Can I take it? Adam Parfrey vs. Forrest Gump? Wild!
In a couple weeks we’ll be able to announce the lead actors.