Harmony Korine, the enfant terrible behind such provocations as Spring Breakers and Gummo, has never been one to shy away from controversial material in the past. His first credited screenplay was Kids (1995) which followed a group of teens as they traveled around New York City skating, drinking, smoking, and deflowering virgins. That film not only provided lots of trouble for distributor Miramax Films but scared a generation of parents in the process. Still, a reported new project in the wings will certainly be a hard sell – Korine is, appearing, adapting the novel Tampa, a lurid account of a teacher-student sex scandal.
Alissa Nutting wrote the novel, which drew critical praise, and Korine let it drop, per The Playlist, at a Q&A at the Miami Beach Cinematheque that he was currently penning a script for the movie. The material would likely draw feathers from any corner of the cinematic spectrum yet while in keeping with Korine’s provocative screen output, Tampa would certainly draw further controversy. The official 2013 synopsis of the book reads:
In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.
Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.
Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho–esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire. Laced with black humor and crackling sexualized prose, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa is a grand, seriocomic examination of the want behind student / teacher affairs and a scorching literary debut.
It’s unclear where or when Tampa may come about – Korine, himself, seemingly suggested this might be better suited to an outfit like HBO. It’s difficult to pin down what exactly may be his first post-Spring Breakers title – a Florida-set feature currently untitled may be up next followed by long-gestating The Trap (a film that had Idris Elba, Benicio Del Toro, Robert Pattinson, Al Pacino, and James Franco attached to star). We will stay tuned.