William Burroughs is living in Lawrence, Kansas. He owns a few small bungalows on a dirt street. He lives in one and his ‘associates’ live in the others. His associates (handlers) are there because Burroughs is barely lucid.
I’m there filming a Nike commercial for a new line of shoes. Burroughs is the U.S. Spokesperson. The scripts are opaque and abstract, perfect for Burroughs’ persona. They make no sense whatsoever.
He is a fabulous character, gaunt, raspy voiced, edgy. I don’t ask how or why he shot his wife. I do ask (the lead associate) about his book, JUNKY. I had read it many years before and was interested in making a film from the material.
Is there an existing screenplay?
I don’t really know. I do know that William and Dennis Hopper were working on something in the seventies.
Since I knew Dennis, I contacted him when I got back to Venice.
Dennis’ response: I DON‘T REMEMBER THE SEVENTIES.
A bit of time goes by. I re-read the book and then a script arrives.