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Novelist Craig Clevenger wowed readers with his inventive debut novel The Contortionist’s Handbook in 2002 - which has made its way around Hollywood and has had Leonardo DiCaprio and Channing Tatum both attached to at different times. Since then he's released the less critically-praised Dermaphoria, and an anthology submission, but has mostly been removed from the public consciousness. But that will probably change soon.
Dermaphoria will soon get a feature film adaptation, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Motion Picture Capital has secured funding for the film and landed documentary filmmaker Ross Clarke to make his feature directorial debut. Clarke’s main claim to fame has been the documentary Skid Row, which followed rapper Pras Michel around as he went homeless in L.A. for a nine-day experiment. This will be a beast of an entirely different nature.
The story is described as “Memento meets Breaking Bad,” and although those arbitrary descriptive pairings are usually laughable, this one is fitting. A chemist awakens in jail after being involved in a lab explosion that leaves him with memory loss. He holes up in a hotel room and gets increasingly more fucked up on a hallucinogen that distorts his senses enough to allow him to unlock some of his memories. And with cops that want him behind bars, and a group of unlawful goons after him to get at the chemical formulas in his head, he’s driven almost past the point of paranoia-stricken madness. Oh, and his girlfriend, who he may or may not remember, is missing as well. Sounds like an average weekend, does it not?
Dermaphoria is looking to begin production this summer.