Trib Critic Phillips gets backstory on 'Idol's Eye' from Olivier Assayas

If you have an interest in the back story of Idol's Eye, the movie based on my Playboy article, "Boosting the Big Tuna," read this excellent interview which director Olivier Assayas did with the Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips. Olivier has a journalistic interest in facts and research that's unlike anything I've encountered in Hollywood. Although most producers want material "based on a true story," they and many of the creative people involved in the projects often feel burdened by the facts. I've known screenwriters who have bragged about not reading the books that the movies have been based on. Olivier, to the contrary, has pushed me to dig for information that wasn't even in my article and which took us to some surprising places--especially for a story that otherwise seemed so rooted in gangster lore and was even the basis for part of the prosecution in The Family Secrets trial of Chicago mob leaders in 2005. None of the characters in this story--from Accardo (who will be played by Robert De Niro) to John Mendell (the burglar leader who will be played by Robert Pattinson) were anything like the Hollywood mobster stereotypes, and I think that's why Olivier may be the perfect filmmaker to bring them to life.