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Without Scarlett Johansson Where Does the Jameson Film Project Go Now?

Porn Valley- [filmstew.com]- Lost in all of this week’s Internet ridiculousness about Scarlett Johansson not wanting to make good on Jenna Jameson’s FHM Magazine wishful thinking, and Jessica Simpson’s dad Joe refusing to let his daughter do the biopiXXX honors, is this two-pronged question: could – and should – a film be worked from the 2004 book How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale?

There’s no denying that Jenna Jameson’s wayward-girl-to-Vivid-girl tale is an atypical American dream story and as such tantalizing big screen material. But Boogie Nights has laid waste that approach; no matter how well someone could pull off the “straight” retelling of the JJ juggernaut, it could never approach the time capsule perfection of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 groove classic.

Truth is, the key to success here is going to be a) to deviate substantially from the Neil Strauss bestseller, using it only as the flimsiest of narrative frameworks; and, b) understand that this is not a talent driven proposition. Ironically, in terms of porn filmmaking, it is entirely going to hinge on the choice of director.

Paul Schrader is now 60, but with Taxi Driver, Hardcore, American Gigolo and Auto Focus in his canon, he would seem to be a logical first choice to go to for screenplay construction. Only problem is, no one wants to see Schrader’s dark and disturbing take on the X-rated scene anymore. For better or worse, JJ is the logical XXX-tension of Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton and Vanna White, a Cinderella whose gonzo ball is one of the American dream, the mainstreaming of porn and the pursuit of celebrity at all costs.

Baz Luhrmann is booked for the forseeable future, but the idea of a musicalized take on the JJ story – a Moulin Rose, if you will – is, to me, fascinating. Imagine the musical numbers; imagine the chorus lyrics. If anyone could go over the top with this on-top, on-bottom material, Baz can. And for this stiletto tapping approach to succeed most mightily, a relative unknown in the lead role would work best, surrounded by stellar supporting folks.

But the truth is, on this the tenth anniversary of Private Parts, it is that suprisingly sweet take on the life of JJ pal Howard Stern which potentially holds the most intriguing of blue-prints. Plunk down the star of the $12 billion per annum porn industry in her own movie; bring in a female director, maybe someone like Penelope Spheeris; and forget about your first choice Scarlett.

Because the only way she’s doing this project is if the director is Woody Allen. And who really wants to see the Jenna Jameson flick done in black and white, classed up with some select 1930’s and 1940’s jazz standards, and featuring Woody himself as a hapless San Fernando Valley-based booker of X-rated talent? On YouTube as a three-minute spoof, maybe. But not for an hour and a half.

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