Earlier this week, we spoke to actor Peter Facinelli about starring in his very first horror movie, “The Damned,” among other things. But, as promised, we’re talking now about A7SLE Films, the entertainment production company Facinelli runs with partner Rob DeFranco.
Facinelli gave TheBlot Magazine’s Dorri Olds the scoop on what’s going on behind the scenes at this exciting new hub in the entertainment world, but before we get to that, here are five of the company’s current projects:
A Fox Networks miniseries is on the way that is based on the book, “Street Soldier: My Life As An Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob,” which was written by Edward J. MacKenzie Jr., crime boss Whitey Bulger’s enforcer.
“The Last Word”
Based on a shocking true story, an innocent man was executed in Texas for the rape and murder of a nun. Hell breaks loose when he reaps his revenge on everyone connected to his unfair trial.
“The Devil’s Rooming House”
This is the chilling story of America’s most prolific female serial killer, Amy Archer-Gilligan, who ran a nursing home and was responsible for 50 deaths from 1910 to 1917.
“After the Red Rain”
Rumor has it this is only the first of a trilogy of YA novels set in a dystopian society where a boy named Rose discovers super powers that can change the lives of those left on planet Earth.
“Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America’s First Spy”
This is a movie about real-life soldier Nathan Hale. During the American Revolutionary War, Hale volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City, but was captured by the British and executed in 1776 at the age of 21.
And now, the interview portion of the story:
Dorri Olds: How did you come up with the name of your company?
Peter Facinelli: When I was 14, I worked in a grocery store in aisle 7. It’s a reminder of that job I had and where I came from.
Which hat do you prefer: writer, producer, director or actor?
I just love stories. As a kid, whenever my dad put me to bed, he’d tell me a bedtime story. For me, they’re all just different ways of telling a story. I love acting because that’s where I started, but there are just different facets to creating a story. When you’re a writer, you get to create that world. When you’re a director, you get to shape that world. When you’re an actor, you get to live that world. And when you’re a producer, you get to put that whole world together. It’s all just different facets of telling a story.
What can you tell me about your upcoming starring role in “Street Soldier?”
The story revolves around Eddie MacKenzie, who served as the enforcer for New England crime boss Whitey Bulger. “Street Soldier” is based on a book I acquired with my partner, Rob DeFranco. A7SLE got the rights to that book before (Bulger) was arrested. After he got arrested, everybody in Hollywood wanted to make a Whitey Bulger movie. Then everyone in Hollywood was making a Whitey Bulger movie.
I decided to try to do it as a TV miniseries like “True Detective” or the “Hatfields & McCoys.” That way you have more time to tell the story, and it’s such a big story you can’t really do it justice in two hours. We put together a great team. Mike De Luca is producing with us. Ted Mann, who wrote “Hatfields & McCoys,” and Larry Golin came on as writers. Then we brought it over to Fox, and now it’s in development over there.
What is “The Last Word?”
I’m working on that through my company. It’s a true story about a man who is wrongfully convicted of raping and murdering a nun. On his deathbed, he cursed everyone involved in the case. I mean, he actually wrote down a curse in a letter. Seventeen people involved in that case ended up dying. So I thought, “Wow, what an interesting story,” and got the rights to it, and we made it as a movie. I was filming “Nurse Jackie” when it was being shot, so I couldn’t be in it, but, for our production company, I don’t want to be in everything. If it makes sense to be in it, then I would, but it’s kind of nice to just sit back and be the producer. We hired Mike Doyle to play that role, and he did a fantastic job. We just locked picture on it, so I’m excited to get that out there. The film is described as a paranormal horror film and has an anticipated release date for summer 2014.
What is “The Devil’s Rooming House” about?
It’s a true story about a woman who terrorized New England in 1911. She owned a nursing home, and nobody knew it was her killing off all these people. We’re adapting it from the book written by M. William Phelps.
And “After the Red Rain?”
That’s a young adult novel that I’m doing with Little Brown. I just finished writing with my producing partner Rob DeFranco and Barry Lyga, a bestselling young adult novelist. So we had the rights to this property, and we were trying to figure out the best way to tell the story, and we thought, “Should we do it as a graphic novel? Or should we just do it as a script?” My producing partner thought it might be an interesting young adult novel, and I thought that was a fun and interesting way to tell the story, so we partnered up with Barry Lyga. Then we sold it to Little Brown who did the “Twilight” books. So that will be their summer book for next year.
Dorri Olds is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.