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Book-to-Film: The Creed of Violence’s Book-to-Film is a monthly feature written by our resident book worm and cinephile Lori Fischburg who contemplates how the book (those that have been optioned and are in various stages of development) might translate onto the big screen. This month we feature: Boston Tehran’s Creed of Violence (2009).’s Book-to-Film is a monthly feature written by our resident book worm and cinephile Lori Fischburg who contemplates how the book (those that have been optioned and are in various stages of development) might translate onto the big screen.

This month we feature: Boston Tehran‘s Creed of Violence (2009).

In 2008, before the novel was published, the manuscript was leaked and Universal Pictures bought the screen rights. Actor turned writer-director Todd Field (who has had 5 previous Oscar nominations for In the Bedroom and Little Children) was attached to adapt the screenplay and direct, with Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Brothers) on board to produce. Release date is set for December 2012, but so far no actors slated for the roles as of yet and this is still in the script phase.

Genre: Western/Thriller/Revolution

Book Synopsis (from Publishers Weekly): Boston Teran’s cinematic fifth novel portrays the 1910 Mexican revolution via the gun sights of an unlikely duo: Rawbone, a hardened small time assassin, and John Lourdes, a Bureau of Investigation agent. The two are thrown together when Rawbone is caught smuggling munitions from Texas into Mexico and Rawbone’s lawyer arranges a deal: immunity in exchange for Rawbone sharing his criminal intel. A bargain is struck, with Lourdes assigned to accompany Rawbone into the Mexican underground. The twist: Lourdes, unknown to everyone but himself, is Rawbone’s son. As the two men make their way through a snake’s nest of smugglers, thugs and professional killers, Lourdes must suppress the angst he feels toward his father and focus on surviving another day.

The Players
The Antagonist: John Lourdes is a 24 years old government agent, described as a thin but muscular man with a fashionable moustache and tawny skin. With the loss of his mother at a young age, Lourdes is hardened to the ways of the world but still deals with the inner struggle of justice and reconciliation aimed at a father that abandoned him. We learn quickly that Lourdes is not without fault as it’s apparent throughout the novel that he wants to see justice served on his father, who is in his custody. John Lourdes respects women and knows when to reach out to people yet also knows when to ask for help. Some Candidates for John Lourdes’s role: Chace Crawford (Twelve, Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding) – he has the looks and will benefit from a non tween breakout role. Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy, On the Road) – Small town boy, may make it big with the right role.

Garrett Hedlund

Protagonist: Rawbone was born in a brothel in Scabtown, a hideout for drunks and scoundrels a tough guy that wasn’t scared of death. He took his name from a fighter that he witnessed when he was a boy. Rawbone is described in the novel as having “true man” features as rugged as the landscape, hostile and burned. He is an amateur assassin, a cowboy gone rogue who takes to drinking to numb him to life. He knows how to get what he wants from people through gun justice and has no remorse. He is a killer. Some Candidates for Rawbone: Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Watchmen) – he could almost be brothers with Javier Bardem. This might be hard to cast without someone getting typecast into the Western Genre, which is why I can’t stop picturing a Jeff Bridges for this role….

Jeffrey Dean Morgan


The Look
Creed is your typical Western-themed book with the setting and background to match. The main difference that will set this apart is a lot of the novel deals with cowboys on Mexican oil country rather that Indian soil. You can almost hear the theme music as Teran takes you on his journey through gunfights and train robberies, but it’s the a-typical bond between father and son will truly set this apart. The mountains and landscape of the Wild West play a big role in the setting, there is a lot of action that takes place in and around them. As the viewer, we will rarely be indoors as almost the entire action takes place outside. I can imagine sunlight and darkness being a central theme with Lourdes being filmed in ambers and yellows, Rawbone more blues and blacks. This might be a good opportunity for Todd Field and his d.p Antonio Calvache to give a warm and more artsy looking Western that goes beyond our expectations of the genre. I would love to see washed out sunlight palette a la Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff or the overexposure that we can imagine from Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.

The Dialogue
Creed is unique in that it forces the reader to question why well after we are introduced to the main characters are they are still being referred to as father and son, and not by name. Teran uses this repetitiveness almost as if to hammer home the fact that he is talking about two men who are living parallel lives while being blood related at the same time. The tension that this creates is the motivation for moving the story forward. On screen it will translate to slower and melodic dialogue with almost a sarcastic hidden tone. We are forced to connect with each character this way, by doing this, Teran makes it obvious that this is more than your typical Western and pulls us into the story further.

Join us tomorrow for PART 2: As we discuss the “concept”, the “structure”, the “themes” and the potential target audience.

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