Hollywood director of the Oscar-winning Boys Don’t Cry (1999), Kimberly Peirce, “became obsessed with the unsolved murder of silent-film director William Desmond Taylor” says Entertainment Weekly’s Karen Valby. ” She watched every silent movie she could get her hands on, buried herself in film archives, and believes today that she may have ferreted out the true killer and the reason for the cover-up. She co-wrote the script for Silent Star, a true-crime Hollywood noir, and lined up a dream cast of Hugh Jackman, Annette Bening, Ben Kingsley, and Evan Rachel Wood. But in 2004, the project crumbled when DreamWorks decided that a period piece with minimal appeal to foreign audiences didn’t justify a $30 million budget. All that time was lost.”
Talking to Sara Michelle Fetters of www.moviefreak.com, she said: “The studio looked at the project and they loved it, And they thought it should cost $30-million, but they didn’t want to spend [that amount], they wanted to spend $20-million. I said that it was going to be tough, but that I’d try to do it as the project was really starting to mean a lot to me. That’s when they said they didn’t want to see the $20-million version, they wanted to see the $30-million version – they just didn’t want to pay for it.”
According to Pierce’s wikipedia page; the film, described as ‘In the vein of Chinatown and Mildred Pierce… is currently being revived“, which is very interesting, if true. Why the view that it’s ‘minimal appeal to foreign audiences’ would have changed since 2004 is anyone’s guess.
While in Los Angeles in 2011, Cleverality Productions sought to interview Kimberly Pierce for the radio programme ‘Who Killed Bill?‘ but she was unavailable for comment. We look forward to catching her the next time if the film is, in fact, revived.