LEE MARVIN BIOPIC: BACKGROUND & POSSIBILITIES

A Lee Marvin biopic would seem like a natural following the surprise success (except to me, of course) of the publication of Lee Marvin Point Blank in 2013.  Why? Well, one would just naturally assume that any non-fiction title that made the NY Times, Publisher’s Weekly and Wall Street Journal’s best seller list in the top five would have studios and executive producers just scrambling for the rights. Sadly, that has not been the case (yet) but it can be rectified with a little background info.
I have written about the possibility previously on this blog, as readers may have noticed. I’ve brought up the subject based on lead actors, young and old, possible directors, even casting ideas for supporting characters.

Schaffner Press decided to include the sunburst image and green banner highlight for Lee Marvin Point Blank’s paperback release in 2014.

Why have I written about it? A couple of reasons. First and foremost, the market for biopics has gained enormous interest lately, as detailed earlier this year in Market Watch.
Secondly, I would be less than an honest if I said the idea of a Lee Marvin biopic based on my book had not crossed my mind while I was working on it. It took me nearly 20 years to get a publisher interested in my book and the idea of a biopic existed even then.
My agent, Mike Hamilburg and I were constantly being told that the proposal is well-written but that there wasn’t a market for a Lee Marvin bio. Then Tim Schaffner of Schaffner Press agreed to publish it on almost a whim in 2013. It won several awards when it came out and, as previously mentioned, in June of 2014, the e-book made the NY Times bestseller list at #4. Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, too! So much for there not being any interest in the project.
Okay, all that said, it was my agent, Mike, Hamilburg, who first suggested I write a film treatment based on the book.

I did just that, submitted it to him and was told that he would then shop it around as he thought it was one of the best he had ever come across. This, coming from the guy who helped put together the film American Hustle (!) Unfortunately, Mike fell into a coma around the holidays and died New Year’s Day, 2016. The project has been in free fall ever since, with no agent and no way to contact anyone to pitch it to for a possible option, which is a VERY frustrating situation.

One of the rare times Lee Marvin himself played a real-life character on film was RCMP’s Edgar Millen in DEATH HUNT.

Lee Marvin as Edgar Millen in DEATH HUNT.

I feel without a doubt Marvin’s PTSD and how he dealt with it is a major selling point. The time period it encompasses is also a popular aspect. I like to think of it as sort of The Hurt Locker meets “Mad Men.”
A good example of success in this area is FX Channel’s show about Bette Davis & Joan Crawford called “Feud” which was extremely popular and dealt with the same time period as the bulk of my Marvin bio. It too, was based on a popular book (by Shaun Considine that came out in 1989). I hope I won’t have to wait that long for an option but you get the point I’m making:
There is an audience for a great biopic just waiting to be seen and I own the copyright and the registration with the Writer’s Guild.
So, with that in mind, I unabashedly state that if anybody reading this has possible industry connections and likes the idea of a Lee Marvin biopic, do not hesitate to contact me here and we can definitely work out a deal. Seriously. Let me know and we can get the ball rolling. Until then, here’s hoping some clear thinking investor/producer/entrepreneur reads this and does indeed make contact. Fingers crossed.

Title page with logline, tagline, copyright & WGA registration for the film treatment FROM HELL TO HOLLYWOOD based on LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK.

-Dwayne Epstein

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CHARLES BRONSON PASSED ON THIS DAY IN 2003

Charles Bronson. Charles Dennis Buchinski. They are one in the same and he left us this day 15 years ago, but not before leaving one hell of an impression. I’ve blogged about him previously, as seen here and here but I’ve never given him his due as an actor here. What he may have lacked in acting talent he more than made up for in steely, snake-eyed masculine presence. I am a genuine fan of most of his films, the exception being those god-awful Death Wish and Cannon films. But even those are bearable for his tired visage. His 60s European film and starring roles in 70s American films stand out best for me. If you haven’t see them, you’re in for a treat. I discovered a wonderful side to Bronson’s personality while researching the many films he made with Lee Marvin, as stated in Lee Marvin Point Blank. It’s what Marvin himself called Bronson’s “Little gleam, way back behind the eyes.”
Obviously, I am a fan which is why my Lee Marvin publisher, Tim Schaffner of Schaffner Press, agreed to publish my bio of him. Unfortunately, he then told me he wanted to take his company in a different editorial direction and we agreed to cancel the contract. Sigh. Fear not as there will be some exciting news on that end shortly. When I’m ready, I’ll post.
For now, I toast Mr. Bronson/Buchinski and remember him well as Marvin himself did. So long, Charlie Sunshine.

Obituary for Charles Bronson, August 30, 2003.

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PLACES AND PEOPLE: LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK, PART II

The places and people Lee Marvin Point Blank   has been noticed never ceases to amaze me so I continue upon that theme. A favorite place is of course under the Christmas tree. Publisher Tim Schaffner did that with all of his publications at the time and you just gotta love the placement….

Lee Marvin Point Blank prominently displayed under the Schaffner Press Christmas tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of publisher Tim Schaffner and places and people, another nice place to find Lee Marvin Point Blank was in New York City, at the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards where he collected the bronze for our work.

Publisher Tim Schaffner being awarded the bronze in biography at New York’s 2013 ‘IPPY’ Awards.

That medallion he’s sporting is now draped proudly over my desk, by the way.

Oftentimes it’s not simply a matter of where you find Lee Marvin Point Blank, but with who. Take Annette Towler, for example. She thought it would be cool to share the book with a friend….

Annette Towler’s friend stands guard over her copy of LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turns out that Lee Marvin Point Blank’s presence is not content to remain in North America. A couple of friends of mine flew across the pond to “Merrie Olde you-know-where” and made pilgrimage to the British Film Institute (BFI). Look what they found properly displayed in the book store.

The BFI bookstore know how to display the best stuff.

Just goes to show you never can tell where and by whom you may find a copy of Lee Marvin Point Blank. So, with that in mind, if you have or know of any interesting places and people to be encountered displaying Lee Marvin Point Blank then by all means, share the wealth as I’m always interested in discovering who, what, when, where and how folks have enjoyed my work. Seriously. Oh, and keep it clean and I’ll more than likely post it here on the blog site. Until then, Happy travels!
– Dwayne Epstein

Don’t leave home without it.

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