Nate Flexer sells option for THE DISASSEMBLED MAN.

The film option for Nate Flexer’s THE DISASSEMBED MAN has been acquired by writer/director Ethan Goldman.

Frankie Avicious is a hard-luck fellow with a sordid past. Living in a dreary meatpacking town, stuck in a loveless marriage, and spending his days slaughtering cattle, Frankie has nothing to look forward to but his next swallow of bargain whiskey. His wife is threatening to leave him, and the local sociopath is threatening to kill him. And then there’s Scarlett Acres, a stripper with a heart of fool’s gold. Frankie can’t stop thinking about her…

With the encouragement of a mysterious traveling salesman, Frankie sets out to reverse his destiny through a series of bizarre murders. The consequences of his brutality turn out to be far worse than even he could imagine.

I must confess, I have not yet read TDM, but it has garnered positive comments from astute folks like Jennifer Jordan and Bill Crider. By all accounts, this is a pretty rough book. I asked Nate if he thought his book was “Hollywood” material.

“When I showed early drafts of The Disassembled Man to friends, agents, and publishers, they were intrigued, but they all gave me the same advice: tone it down. Readers want something a little more palatable. They want a sympathetic protagonist. They want a happier ending. I carefully considered this advice and then promptly ignored it. The Disassembled Man is raw. The Disassembled Man is over-the-top. The Disassembled Man is crude. And I guess some people find that refreshing.

Needless to say, I was surprised (shocked?) when Ethan Goldman expressed interest in optioning the book for a film. Not that I didn’t think it had the makings for a great movie–the book has a pretty damn interesting plot, plenty of twists, and is exceedingly visual. It’s just that I assumed that most people connected to film industry like to play it safe and go with what’s got a track record. So yeah, I’m more than a little impressed that a fellow like Ethan Goldman–a writer/director with prodigious talent–would take a chance on such a difficult novel from an unknown author. I’m exceedingly excited and grateful to see this project go forward.”

Ethan has worked on numerous films including MONEY TRAIN (Yuck) and SCENES FROM A MALL. He has worked on television on THE SOPRANOS and SEX AND THE CITY. He most recently adapted the Richard Price novel THE BREAKS for director Todd Philips (“The Hangover”) at Warner Bros.

Nate’s work impressed Ethan right off the bat.

“TDM is the most horrifyingly funny, perverse and shocking crime book I have ever read – and that’s saying something. It pushes way past Jim Thompson territory. It’s also amazingly well-written with characters who are utterly unique. And like the greatest noir books and films, it’s also a razor-sharp commentary on certain unsavory aspects of contemporary society. But to work as a film, a dark, provocative story like this needs to be anchored by a real vulnerability and humanity, and Nate has managed to pull off that difficult trick as well.”

Like Nate, I asked Ethan about the challenge of bringing TDM to the silver screen:

“When I first read the book, I thought, ‘Wow, this is so totally out there, it can never be a movie!’ But once that thought popped into my head, I of course began to think about how it could be a movie. TDM as a film will obviously be extremely shocking and push what are now considered acceptable boundaries – but in their time, so did “Double Indemnity,” “Psycho,” “Bonnie & Clyde,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “Taxi Driver” – all of them now considered to be some of the greatest films of all time.”

Being a fan of all things Noir, I am looking forward to reading the book as well as seeing the film when it is made.

Credit goes to author/agent Allan Guthrie for not only making the deal happen, but for giving us a heads up on it. If you are not familiar with his work, check him out. He is as good an author as he is an agent!

I wish all parties the best of luck!