If I were Mickey Rourke, any script that came in that might remotely be called an ‘erotic thriller’ would immediately be burned for fuel. But he’s now set for an adaptation of the Paulo Coehlo novel Eleven Minutes alongside Vincent Cassel and Alice Braga. Variety calls the thing ‘steamy’, but knowing the trade, they could have been thinking about something else, like tea, or urine.
Braga will be Maria, a young Brazilian woman who becomes a prostitute in Switzerland. Rourke will be the owner of the gentleman’s club that employs her, while Cassel is the guy who introduces her to S&M. Reading a bit about Coehlo’s book, the consensus is that it’s somewhere between a fairy tale and a would-be investigation into the nature of human sexuality and the division of sacred and profane sex.
All of which could so easily appear on screen as a new episode of The Red Shoe Diaries.
What’s the upside? The film will be directed by Hany Abu-Assad, who made the very good Paradise Now. The film starts shooting in June; I hope for Rourke’s sake that Abu-Assad has a good handle on the material.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey