Okay, so it's time to get started on the script and casting for the movie about David and Tiffany's fateful Jet-Ski trip on Falcon Lake.
First, what to name this movie?
The Pirates of Falcon Lake will never do: it conjures Johnny Depp and also sounds too much like a Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew mystery.
Murky Waters: The David and Tiffany Hartley Story has a solid old-school Lifetime feel to it, and also reflects the uncertainty that surrounds the case at the moment.
Man, we kinda suck at this. We are totally, totally open to suggestions...
The lead role is easiest to cast.
Tiffany Young-Hartley will be portrayed by Reese Witherspoon. Duh. Total no-brainer. For Witherspoon, this would be akin to Holly Hunter kinda-almost, but not-quite-slumming-it in the Lifetime-movie-genre-parodying (and Houston Proud!) tour de force The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom. Hartley's not a Texan or Southerner though, so Witherspoon would have to hide the accent...
David Hartley: Forty years ago, guys like Jeff Bridges, Burt Reynolds and Nick Nolte could have owned this role, with others like Kris Kristofferson and Gary Busey serving as better-than-decent fallbacks. Ever since then, hairy-faced, he-man, linebacker-sized male leads have been in short supply.
Keanu Reeves, Ed Norton, Shia LaBeouf, Hayden Christiansen...none of those reedy, mealy-mouthed dweebs could convincingly portray Hartley, a 6'2", 250-pound former bullrider and current roughneck.
Oddly, most of the actors from the last couple of decades who would remotely fit the bill are non-American: Aussies like Russell Crowe, Brits like Tom Hardy, Irishmen like Liam Neeson, hell, even the Frenchman Gerard Depardieu. We didn't attend Vassar, nor are we Camille Paglia, but that seems to say, um, something about gender politics in the America of today.
At any rate, with the exception of Hardy, all those guys are too old, as are Josh Brolin ad George Clooney, the sole Americans who could fit that broad description.
While Scotsman Gerard Butler is also too old by about ten years, that's close enough to fake it. Hop aboard your SeaDoo, King Leonidas! Falcon Lake is el Nuevo Spar-taaaa!
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez: The template for Hispanic Texas borderlands sheriff is nonexistent right now. The real-life Sheriff Sigi looks more like a priest or scholar than a lawman to us, so we're gonna go with Texan Lico Reyes in this role. Ironically, Reyes, who looks more like a sheriff, once trained to be a priest.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Tamaulipas state attorney general's office spokesman Ruben Dario Rios Lopez: We haven't seen a picture of this guy, but we're gonna presume anyone who holds a job in Tamaulipas law enforcement right now is insane, possibly working for the other side, and a badass, so we're gonna go with Raymond Cruz (Tuco from Breaking Bad) in this role.
As for decapitated former lead investigator Rolando Armando Flores Villegas, we're getting an Edward James Olmos vibe. Flores is being presented to us as a reliable, good-hearted authority figure and a "good Mexican," the guy who is on our side in contrast to the ruthless and sadistic cartels, hapless and corrupt politicians, and trigger-happy and bloodthirsty pirates.
We would have considered Danny Trejo -- La Tortuga of Breaking Bad fame -- but he's already been memorably beheaded by the cartels once. We can hear his agent now, telling us he doesn't want Trejo to be typecast as a headless victim of the Borderlands drug lords.
As for the script, well...that's unwritten. Right now, we're still waiting for actual events to show us how this movie will end.