Monday, May 13, 2013

Tin House Author Approached by Dexter's Matthew C. Hall with Plans for Showtime Script

Of course we at Benay know all too well the breadth of talent our clients publish, but the verity of this realization came to fruition when Benay client Tin House Book's author, Matthew Specktor, was approach by none other than Michael C. Hall, who had a very particular proposal for him. Hall, who many of you may know better as the murderous television vigilante, Dexter, had read Specktor’s most recent novel, American Dream Machine, released from Tin House Books in April, and seen huge cinematic potential. He wanted the story to come to life on screen as a new Showtime television series, and he wanted Specktor to be the one to write it to life. Specktor agreed to the project; a decision that he would have had trouble making years ago.

Tin House author, Matthew Specktor

“I didn’t know very many happy screenwriters,” he writes in a recent column for Salon Media Group. “I didn’t know any, in fact: even the most successful among them… were miserable, touched with a kind of self-loathing unique to the breed.”

And yet Specktor is still giving it a go. The American Dream Machine project is still in its infancy at the Showtime studios, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but the prospects do seem hopeful. With the Dexter saga at a close, Hall is ramped up for a fresh new project, and Specktor seems to be in a rather healthy place these days in his relationship with screenwriting.

Tin House Books joked about the news on their Facebook page, last Monday, asking their followers who they think should play Beau, the father of the novel’s main character who rises out of nothingness to become one of Hollywood’s top agents. Answers proved cheeky, ranging from Patton Oswalt to Fred Melamed.

Screenshot of Michael C. Hall from an
episode of the Showtime series, Dexter.
On a more serious note, it does seem only fitting that an actor like Hall would pick up a book like American Dream Machine and bring it to Showtime. After all, their fast-paced racy series like Dexter, Weeds, and Californication, mirror the tone found in a large amount of Tin House’s titles. Alongside American Dream Machine’s gritty reality sits novels like Me and Mr. Booker, a tale of a small town sixteen-year-old who finds salvation from boredom in a charming Brit who shows her the ways of the world through style, adventure, whiskey, cigarettes and sex, and Misfit, a novel that outlines the last week of Marilyn Monroe’s life, and her long hard fall from the top of stardom.

Tin House’s books having a modern cinematic feel is unmistakable. They are highly conducive to the modern medium of film and television; a fact solidified by Showtime’s recent interest in American Dream Machine, and a quality that will prove to be invaluable, given the way that the story is favored so immensely by motion picture in this age. It is just another way that we at Benay are right in saying that our clients are, indeed, on top.


If you’d like to learn more about Matthew Specktor and his novel, American Dream Machine, please visit the Tin House website by clicking here. You can find excerpts from the novel, information on Specktor’s other works, other Tin House authors, and more.

- Colleen McClintock

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