Tim Sullivan (Driftwood, Chillerama, Vh1’s Scream Queens) has optioned the rights to Doors co-founder Ray Manzarek’s bestselling novel The Poet in Exile. Plans call for a feature film to be written and directed by Sullivan and produced by Manzarek. Sullivan will co-write the script with Chillerama producer and editor Gavin Heffernan (Expiration) and New Mexico poet and author Liz Sullivan (Icons and Outcasts).
Published to strong acclaim, Manzarek’s novel explores the notion “what if” his former bandmate, the iconic rock and roll poet and legend Jim Morrison, did indeed stage his death in 1971, as was widely speculated, and now, 40 years later, contacts Manzarek from his hiding place in the Seychelles Islands to embark on one final journey of rock and roll rebellion.
The Doors are not unfamiliar with the celluloid screen. Between Oliver Stone’s epic biopic The Doors and the highly praised documentary When You’re Strange (narrated by Johnny Depp), the fame and folklore of Jim Morrison and company has seen its share of high-profile cinematic treatment. But never before has an actual Doors film project originated from a member of the band.
While known primarily for his presence in the horror genre, Sullivan is no stranger to the field of music, having served as MTV News staff writer and producer of the KISS rock and roll comedy Detroit Rock City as well as producer of the unreleased documentary on The Doors of the 21st Century’s reunion tour, his first collaboration with Manzarek.
With 2011 marking the 40th anniversary of L.A. Woman, The Doors final album, as well as the 40th anniversary of Morrison’s death in Paris, the timing seems right for The Poet in Exile. In honor of these events, Manzarek has been on the road with original Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, a highly anticipated tour that included a recent sold-out stop at the famed Whisky A Go Go on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip.
Scheduled to shoot 2012, The Poet in Exile will be produced through Club House Entertainment, Sullivan’s production company formed with Heffernan and fellow filmmakers Brian McCulley (Text), John Crockett (The Locals), Adam Robitel (The Bloody Benders) and Paul Ward (One for the Road).