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Bill Paxton planned to return to directing horror with The Bottoms

02.28.2017by: Mike Sprague

As people are currently talking circles around the late Bill Paxton's acting credits (as well they should be, the man was a multi-layered genius) there seems to be a bit of neglect going on regarding Bill Paxton the director. 

And what a director he was. 2001's horror-thriller FRAILTY is one of the top genre entries of the 2000's, or any decade. Filled with powerful imagery and unpredictable twists and turns, FRAILTY is a true modern classic. The man himself, Arrow, gave the flick a 10/10! That should tell you something!

Anyhow, as we all reel from the news of Bill's passing, I think we should take a moment to remember the director, along side the actor. Which brings me to the subject of what was to be Paxton's genre follow-up to FRAILTY; an adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale’s (BUBBA HO-TEP) Edgar Award-winning novel, THE BOTTOMS.

Here's what Paxton told EW about the potential film back in 2015:

“I got a great script called The Bottoms. It’s written by Brent Hanley [the screenwriter of Frailty]. It’s adapted from a great book by Joe Lansdale. He’s one of the great American writers, coming out of a Southern Gothic tradition. His Hap and Leonard series, which Sundance is now turning into a series, is incredible. A lot of his books are just fantastic. I’ve been involved with him now for six years developing The Bottoms. I brought Brent Hanley to the party because I knew it was right in Brent’s wheelhouse. He’s another Texas writer who really knows his noir stuff. I’m just a huge champion of Joe Lansdale’s and he’s been very loyal to me, because its really taken us a long time to put The Bottoms together. It’s about the best script I’ve ever had my hands on in terms of a real regional thriller, and a follow-up from the writer and director of Frailty.”

All that said, turns out Bill was having more than a little trouble getting the film off the ground:

“I can’t get arrested with it. But I’m sure that if I can just make that movie, and make it well, with a good cast, at a decent budget, it is a bona fide classic."

I'm 100% f*cking sure it would have been, Bill. Shame we never got to see it, sir.

Here is a rundown THE BOTTOMS via Wikipedia:

This story takes place during the Great Depression in East Texas. Young Harry Crane discovers the mutilated body of a black woman that sets off a mystery involving rising violence and racism. Despite the efforts of law enforcement, the killing continues. Harry and his younger sister, Thomasina, fix their suspicions on a local horror legend, The Goat Man, who lives deep in the Big Thicket. Together they set out to solve the mystery of who the real killer is.

Lansdale paid tribute to Paxton on Twitter this past Sunday saying:

You can buy a copy of THE BOTTOMS right HERE

Vinessa Shaw starred in Lansdale's last cinematic adaptation COLD IN JULY.

Extra Tidbit: Pick a Lansdale flick: BUBBA HO-TEP or COLD IN JULY
Source: EW

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