Filmmaker Richmond Riedel, the producer, director, and writer of the award-winning film Target Practice, has optioned the motion picture rights to a screenplay called The Devoted, written by Eric Shapiro and Rhoda Jordan. Shapiro and Jordan co-produced the film Rule Of Three, which, like Target Practice, was released in 2010 by Big Screen Entertainment Group.
The Devoted chronicles the last day in the life of a fictional suicide cult. When one of the cult members begins to have second thoughts, the balance of power becomes disrupted, and as the group’s final ritual grows near, the tension escalates. Earlier this month, a novel version of The Devoted, written by Eric Shapiro, was released by Ravenous Shadows, the new line of genre fiction helmed by NY Times Bestselling Author John Skipp.
“It was a screenplay before it was a novel,” Shapiro explains. “We’d been working on getting it made. When John Skipp asked if I wanted to take a shot at his new line, I figured I’d adapt the script into a book, since I was obsessed with the story and couldn’t let it go.”
Asked why he’s not pursuing directorial control over the film version of The Devoted as he had on Rule Of Three (as well as a recent short adaptation of Jack Ketchum’s Mail Order), Shapiro says, “Richmond’s a phenomenal new director. It was fortuitous that our debut films ended up on the same label. His movie Target Practice is the most ambitious and electrifying ultra-low-budget flick I’ve seen, and The Devoted will catch fire with his intense sensibility.”
Riedel states, “As soon as I read the script, I thought ‘Crap, I wish I’d been the one who wrote it.’ Loved it that much. Just absolutely gripping, with great characters, terrific dialogue, an ever-mounting sense of tension between the characters, a really strong, relentless build-up with a major pay-off. Just the kind of material that speaks to me; my heart was actually pumping as I read it. It’ll make an absolutely kick-ass film.”
Riedel and his producing partner Thom Michael Mulligan are presently constructing a budget for the motion picture, with the hope of readying it for cameras within the coming year. In the meantime, the ebook release of The Devoted novel – which has already earned praise from Jack Ketchum, Stephen Graham Jones, Eric S. Brown, and many others – can be purchased anywhere books are sold.
You can pick up the Kindle edition here: The Devoted