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A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : GENRE BENDER : Our Gut Instinct Tells Us This One Will Be Rated 'P.C.'

March 08, 1992|Louis Chunovic

And now, from the Politically Correct file, comes another tale of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. . . .

When Carolco's "Basic Instinct" was filmed on the streets of San Francisco last year, the production was met by a storm of protests from gay and lesbian activists who charged that the Eszterhas script defamed lesbians and women.

Following a mid-production-protest meeting last April between the activists and the "Instinct" principals--producer Alan Marshall, director Paul Verhoeven and writer Eszterhas, who received a record $3 million for the "Instinct" script--Eszterhas got to thinking:

"Why is it that there's never been a picture, a thriller, (where it's) the good guys against the bad guys, and it so happens the good guy's gay?"

Eszterhas answered the question by writing that script himself. It's called "Layers of Skin."

"It's a thriller, it's the good guys against the bad guys, and coincidentally the good guy's gay," he says.

Specifically, the "Skin" script good guy is a gay ex-L.A. cop, says Eszterhas. The gay ex-cop "got bounced off the L.A. force and is now working in Palm Springs, and (the story) involves a land scandal that has to do with some very powerful people--a former vice president, a former ambassador--that he finds himself uncovering and pits himself against. I don't want to go into more detail than that."

Like his controversial "Instinct" and his six previous screenplays, "Skin" was written on "spec." (Four sold and three didn't, Eszterhas recalls.) Hollywood studios will get "Skin" in the next few weeks.

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