Burn Notice Star Projects Miami Film
By Catherine Lackner
"Burn Notice" may be ending, but Sharon Gless, one of its stars, is already engrossed in a new project, a movie she hopes will be filmed in Miami.
Several years ago, Ms. Gless purchased the option to produce "A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance," by Jane Juska. The book — now in its sixth printing — is the story of a semi-retired high school teacher in Berkeley, CA, who places an ad in the "New York Review of Books" and goes on a sexual quest after 30 years of celibacy.
After reading the book, Ms. Gless became determined to buy the option. "A major studio was right on our heels, but we fought for that option," she said. She has appeared as Ms. Juska in stage versions in London’s West End and at the GableStage at the Biltmore theater in Coral Gables.
"I’ve lived in Florida for 17 years; I’d like to make the movie here," Ms. Gless said last week at CAMACOL’s Miami Media and Film Market. "I want to bring the work here."
The next step is to obtain financing, said Brian Eastman of Batway LTD in London, producer for the project. The subject matter might make that more challenging, he said. The film is expected to cost about $5 million and the film rights expire in 2016, so time is of the essence.
"Steven Soderbergh has been trying to make a film about Liberace for 13 years, and it’s finally going to be shown on HBO," he said, referring to "Behind the Candelabra," a biopic about the flamboyant gay entertainer. "So he’s in the same boat as the rest of us. He couldn’t get it financed for a similar reason — they’re scared of sex, especially when the element of age is added to it."
American film-makers rarely shy away from other topics, he said. "They addressed the race issue as early as the 1930s, so I don’t understand the hiccups," he added.
Sometimes larger projects attract more support than smaller — or offbeat — productions, said Robert Di Cerbo, executive producer with All Platforms Media LLC.
Michael Bay tried for years to get "Pain and Gain" off the ground, he said, referring to a film about bungling gangsters from Miami, which had a budget of $26 million.
"Finally, he had to tell the studio that he wouldn’t do another installment in the "Transformers’ series unless he could do "Pain and Gain’," Mr. Di Cerbo said. Though not critically acclaimed, the movie grossed $20 million on its opening weekend and is well on its way to profitability, observers say.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.