SAULT STE. MARIE – The tragic Manitoulin Island story of Danny Dodge, heir to the automobile fortune of the same name, struck down in the prime of his life following an ill-advised adventure with some found sticks of explosives, is several steps closer to the silver screen. Actually, the story is more about his wife Laurine and her travails following the tragedy.
As was reported several years ago, an option deal had been signed between Manitoulin screenwriters John Hawke and Deborah Wilson and Edge Enterprise owner Rosalie Chilelli for their 120 page screenplay, ‘A Lesser Known Heir.’
“Rosalie called us to tell us that she will have the screenplay polished by a professional screenwriter, Amanda Smith,” Mr. Hawke told the Recorder this past Saturday evening. “Rosalie and Jennifer Pun are working on it now,” he said, noting that permission has been given by Laurine’s son, John Van Etten, to provide more information on his mother to the writing team.
“This is a very exciting time,” stated Ms. Chilelli who, along with Jennifer Pun of Edge Entertainment, is the producer. Ms. Chilelli was responding when contacted by the Recorder this past Tuesday. “We are moving forward with this project and are very excited about this. It often takes a long time to get a feature made but we have taken things to the next level.”
“We have been searching for a screenwriter to polish the script,” said Ms. Chilelli. “We recently signed Amanda Smith, an experienced Canadian writer, to complete the next draft. John Hawke and Deborah Wilson, the creators and writers of the story, will be working with Amanda. In addition, executive producer Simone Urdl (of The Film Farm) has joined the team. We have a stellar team working on this project.”
Ms. Chilelli explained, “the focus of the story will be on Laurine (McDonald) Dodge and what happens to her after Danny (Dodge) dies in the tragic accident. The story will have contemporary themes and viewers will see the story from Laurine’s perspective.”
The team of producers and writers, John Hawke and Deborah Wilson will be working with Ms. Smith and the Dodge couple’s son (John Van Etten) and nephew will be included in providing input on the story. “We want to get a better understanding of and get to know Laurine through her family members,” said Ms. Chilelli.