There was a time — quite a long time ago — when Joe Eszterhas was one of the biggest screenwriting names around town. He made his name with “Flashdance” and “Jagged Edge” and exploded into the stratosphere with “Basic Instinct” which soon saw him commanding millions for his work. But with disappointments in follow-ups “Jade” (which is now mostly known for being a punchline in “40 Year Old Virgin“) and “Sliver” and the colossal bomb that was “Showgirls,” Eszterhas packed his bags and left Hollywood. And while he may not be in Tinseltown anymore, the movie bug struck and he’s got a new script that will mark his comeback vehicle, and no surprise he’s drawn up another sexual thriller, a genre he’s more than familiar with.
Titled “Lust,” Eszterhas has teamed with Stone Village Productions to try and get the film rolling this year. Described as a cross between “Basic Instinct” and “Fatal Attraction,” the story “centers on a 30-year old beauty who is married and in love with an older Miami-based fashion magazine publisher, only to be seduced by a younger charming playboy on a business trip in Los Angeles. The playboy has a Russian assistant who is in love with him, and in this twisted jealous love triangle, secretly videotapes him and his new lover having sex to show it to her husband. The consequences of the woman’s impulsive escapade unravel into a high suspense thriller promising plenty of steamy sex scenes, set against the backdrop of the high-stakes world of real estate brokering in Miami.” Real estate brokering? Russian assistants? Fashion magazines? It’s kind of a miracle these characters get any work done.
But anyway, these kinds of movies were never sold on their realism, but rather on their soap opera plots that ramped up the nudity and illicit trysts. And while we’re always up for a good B-thriller it’s a fine line to balance without the material falling into unintentional camp.
However, big plans are afoot with “Lust.” The team is looking to get a director and cast on aboard in advance of Cannes, where rights to the picture will be sold. And if it all comes together, the $30 million project will lens later this summer.