Sidney Lumet and Tom Fontana Working Together: Can You ”Imagine” That?

I don’t know which is the more exciting proposal… that Tom Fontana is finally making his feature screenwriting debut after twenty years of exciting work on “St. Elsewhere,” “Homicide” and “Oz”… or that the director of “12 Angry Men,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Network” and “The Verdict” is going to be calling the shots on it.

The screenplay, entitled “Imagine,” revolves around three major characters:

Matthew Nemoyer: A disillusioned artist who is intrigued with the concept that he may be imagining everyone else around him. He shares his thoughts with his art class, and garners a mostly negative response. To prove his point, Matthew dreams up a psychological experiment, leaving several boxes on a subway platform marked “death,” then photographing the responses of passers-by.

Alex Gray: A chubby, balding, extremely introverted young man who is a
convicted child molester. Alex, who lives at home with his mother, his bedroom decor suitable for a 12 year old, keeps a journal that records his disturbing fantasies about children.

Vergil Munson: A loner with a chip on his shoulder, obsessed with Aeaea Reynolds, a popular teenage movie actress. Vergil regularly visits Internet chat rooms to talk about Aeaea and has deluged her with presents and letters. Vergil believes he has a special connection to the actress and that everyone around her is jealous. Concerned that she may not be receiving his mail, Vergil arrives at her parents’ home expecting to attend Aeaea’s birthday party.

In true fashion with Lumet and Fontana, the film will not only investigate why these men act the way they do, but delve into the lives and procedures of the detectives, prosecutors and defense attorneys who must deal with these individuals throughout the legal system.

Casting will begin later today in New York City, where the film will begin shooting July 14.

“Imagine” Scorecard
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writer: Tom Fontana
Producers: Tom Fontana/ Barry Levinson
Production Start Date: July 14, 2003
Production Location: New York City