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SPED UP

By Peter Bowen

SPUN DRAMATIZES a weekend in hell during which methamphetamine addict (Jason Schwarzman) drives another cooker (Mickey Rourke) around Eugene, Ore. For screenwriter Will De Los Santos, the story is autobiographical, but an even more frightening tale may be the way in which he pushed, prodded and stalked to get his script made into a film directed by Jonas Åkerlund – the Swedish music video maker famous for crafting looks for both Madonna and Metallica – and featuring a cast that includes, in addition to Schwarzman and Rourke, Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous), Mena Suvari and John Leguizamo.

Six years ago while considering making a documentary on the meth cookers in Eugene, Ore., De los Santos himself became an addict. He recounts, "I am happy that chapter is over, but in rehab I kept making lists of producers. And then two days out, I said, ‘I’m going to go to L.A. and make a film.’" And he did venture south, but without any real contacts.

Sneaking into a party here, stalking a contact there, he eventually decided on Chris Hanley and Muse Films to produce his film. And after a few more hundred phone calls and unannounced visits to movie sets, De los Santos got Muse Films to see his point of view. But even with Muse on board, the project stalled again when designated director Åkerlund couldn’t start because of scheduling conflicts. Again impatient, De los Santos found Åkerlund on the Internet and convinced him to read his script and do his movie.

Now being edited in Sweden, the film should be ready by fall to showcase De los Santos’s talent – both as a writer and stalker.

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