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Adults only: Maltese producer to adapt book about ‘porn princess’

Maltese film producer Jean Pierre Magro will help bring Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Snuff to life in an upcoming feature film.

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic
8 August 2012, 12:00am
Producer Jean Pierre Magro promises the film adaptation of Palahniuk’s Snuff will retain the author’s trademark grotesque humour.
Producer Jean Pierre Magro promises the film adaptation of Palahniuk’s Snuff will retain the author’s trademark grotesque humour.
Maltese film producer Jean Pierre Magro is to produce a film adaptation of Snuff, a 2008 novel by Chuck Palahniuk, the cult American author of Fight Club and Choke.

The story of 'porn princess' Cassie Wright - who sets out to have sex with 600 men on camera as her last bow to the porn industry - will be adapted by Immortal Transmedia, the UK-based production company run by Magro and Dean O'Toole.

The film will be written and directed by Golan Ramras and Fabien Martorell.

Though Snuff's initial premise might "cause some people to cringe", according to Magro the end result will not in any way be pornographic, as the film will focus primarily on three characters who take up the porn princess's challenge as they wait to be called in for their 15 minutes of pornographic fame.

Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk has an international fanbase

"I'm sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but there is really nothing controversial or extreme about this story. Both Dean and I have no interest in shocking people. What we want is to tell a good story. And Snuff is a really powerful comedy. What we have is a dark, irreverent comedy about flawed people who are trying to find love and in the process redeem their sins," Magro said.

Magro and O'Toole received the script through producer Adam Goldworm of Aperture Entertainment, who will also join them in producing the film.

"At the moment, we are polishing the screenplay and soon we will start casting. Any adaptation requires loads of work. What worked on page doesn't always translate well on the screen. With Palahniuk's blessing, we are implementing the necessary changes to the story. However, I can assure fans that his flavour and humour will not be tampered with - his style will be present," Magro said.



Chuck Palahniuk 'interviews' Cassie Wright in a promo video for Snuff

Snuff will be made on a relatively modest budget - Magro estimates it will come to around €3.5 million - which slots it in as an 'independent'-scale production. However, Magro believes the adaptation could grow beyond just the one feature film.

"We are talking of a transmedia project. We are currently in talks with Palahniuk to write a new comedy based on one of the minor characters from Snuff. This will provide some back story to the character, and explain some of his behaviour in the original story. The world is so rich that it can easily be expanded onto other platforms,  mainly books and theatre," Magro said.

Snuff will be the third film adaptation of a Palahniuk novel, after 1999's Fight Club and more recently, the Sam Rockwell-starring Choke (2008).

True to Palahniuk's tendency towards extreme subject matter, Fight Club - made famous by the film starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter - presented a satirical vision of contemporary consumer society, in which disaffected males band together in underground 'fight clubs', deliberately beating each other senseless in an attempt to reinvigorate their masculinity.

Palahniuk's sex-addict black comedy Choke - first published in 2001 and adapted into a film by Clark Gregg - notably contributed to pushing Labour MP Adrian Vassallo to claim that he would 'rather live in Iran', due to the story's suggestion that its protagonist's genetic code comes from the Holy Prepuce (in vulgar terms: Jesus's foreskin).

"Palahniuk has got a massive fan base. He is like a pop star... so of course, there is a lot of pressure that we must deliver the goods.

We feel very comfortable with the script and re-assured that Palahniuk is fully behind the direction that we took. In fact,  he has encouraged us to follow the spirit of the story and do the changes that are required... so far, it has been a great ride," Magro said.

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...
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