Saturday, September 08, 2007

Tulia movie scrapped?

Via Pete at Drug War Rant:
This is a major downer. We had a really good thing going -- John Singleton directing Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton in the movie about the drug war travesty in Tulia, Texas.

Now reports are that the project has been scrapped because Halle is pregnant.

It's been reported that after she's had her child the movie might be picked up again and put into development once again but at this point Tulia won't be made.
What a drag! While I've no illusions that Hollywood would portray the Tulia episode with any particular historical accuracy, I've been looking forward to the movie and to the symbolic, public vindication and denouement it would provide for Tulians wrongly caught up in the sting.

For more background on the Tulia case see Rev. Alan Bean's guest blog coverage on Grits of the Tom Coleman perjury trial.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not such a bad thing, really. It means more sales for Nate Blakeslee's definitive work, "Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town," Publisher: PublicAffairs (September 20, 2005), ISBN-10: 158648219X, ISBN-13: 978-1586482190.

JT Barrie said...

It would really have made a change from the standard Hollywood fare; police are generally noble warriors forced to do evil because of the evil that cartoon style bad guys do. Lawyers who care about constitutional rights might have been portrayed as people who are not impediments to true justice when they go after rogue police [redundancy?]. I'm sure though that Hollywood would find a way to portray Tulia as "a few bad apples" in an inherently virtuous barrel.

Anonymous said...

I've said this before, Ms. Berry was not appropriate in the role of Ms. Gupta. Berry is 41 and not East Indian in appearance. She's gorgeous but miscast. Billy Bob Thorton is at least ten to fifteen years older than Coleman and much too respected as an actor and a person to play this particular scumbag.

The Tulia story was not a story about the lawyers who helped in the end, but the people who were abused by the system and the local folks that fought to stop it. Nate's book is a good read but Halle and Billy Bob are miscast, in part, because Nate's focus was on the end of the legal process.

I thought Alan was writing a book, which I've not seen in print yet. He and his family, the defendants and their families, and Mr. Gary Gardner did more to stop the train. Gupta and the other East coast lawyers helped put the rocks on the train track that the Tulia defendants, their families, the Beans, and Gardner dragged from the mountains to the train track. None of the East coast cast suffered any lasting discrimination for their involvement as did the Tulia defendants, their families, their friends, the Beans and Gardner.

Maybe Halle's pregnancy, which is a blessing in itself, will help set the record straight. Halle could easily play one of the Tulia defendants or a family member, and Billy Bob could easily play one of the Christian hypocrites, but the lesson will be lost to oblivion if the focus is on the East coast support staff and Tom Coleman and not the Tulia defendants, their families, and their friends.

It took courage and faith and a willingness to lose everything to stand up to the rotten system they faced in Tulia. Their sacrifice was absolute, their struggle uplifting, and their ultimate success immensely satisfying. Glorifying the East coast support staff; however, misses what made it possible in the first place. I say bully for Halle's pregnancy!

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Anonymous said...

If you look up Tulia on Itunes, a TX country singer has a song that is pretty good about it! I was looking forward to the movie...that sucks they scrapped it.

Anonymous said...

Shawn Fussell is the singer, he's a rising TX country performer. I have seen him at filthy mcnasty's in Ft. Worth.