Brian de Palma (The Black Dahlia) has signed on to bring the Gardner McKay novel and stage play ‘Toyer’ to the big screen. De Palma has been interested in making the movie for several years.
Producers Scott Steindorff (Love in the Time of Cholera) and Tarak Ben Ammar (Hannibal Rising, La Traviata) are both behind the film, which is currently taking the indie route.
“It has all the elements of suspense that Brian does so well in films like ‘Blow Out’ and ‘Carrie’,” Steindorff said. “And by that I mean, it’s really frickin’ scary: I read the script on a plane, and I was still terrified.”
The book tells the story of a “serial lunatic” who does not kill his young, beautiful female victims; instead he “toys” with them, torturing them mentally and putting them into comas. With his acts not being under a single clear jurisdiction, the police focused on murders and thus gave the Toyer more time to find more victims. When a journalist and a psychologist who treats the victims become suspicious, the film follows their efforts to expose the Toyer.
The novel was set in LA, but ‘Toyer’ will start filming this fall in Venice. Just to make it even spookier, the film will be set during the Carnevale di Venezia, the two-week festival where everyone on the streets wears ornate masks.