Because God wants us to suffer, the Lifetime network is airing a made-for-TV movie about the Susan Wright case March 3. Wright, you'll remember, is the woman convicted of tying her husband to the bed and stabbing him 193 times, a scene re-enacted in court -- including the bed -- by prosecutors.
Lifetime's sedate, tranquil meditation on the human condition is titled Blue Eyed Butcher.
We've got our hands on what appears to be the script, and although there's no telling what has made it through the rewriting, shooting and editing process, the movie seems....kinda exactly what you'd expect from Lifetime.
As in, on Wright's first date with her soon-to-be late husband, he says, "You are gonna be the death of me, Pretty Lady."
That first date comes after this early scene:
EXT. GALVESTON BEACH, TEXAS -- AFTERNOON SUPER: 5 YEARS EARLIER.
A sun drenched day on the Gulf of Mexico.
MUSIC PUMPS OUT OF BOOM BOXES. COLLEGE STUDENTS PASS BEERS. FAMILIES PLAY PADDLE BALL .VOLLEYBALL. FRISBEE. FUN IN THE SUN!
A 22 year old SUSAN soaks up the sun with Cindy and two other friends, MARIA and CLAIRE. Nearby, a cooler is stocked with wine coolers -- full and empties.
Susan is watching a THREE-ON-THREE BEACH VOLLEYBALL GAME. The SHIRTLESS ATHLETES glisten in the hot afternoon sun.
CINDY (re: the boys, teasing) Purdy, ain't they. SUSAN (embarrassed): Shut up.
Susan rolls over and pretends not to be interested. Maria and Claire look at the hot guys diving in the sand.
MARIA (joining in): Oh, c'mon, Suze. man up. Let's go watch. CINDY (jumping up): Yeah, no more shy little sister. You're totally hot. Act like it. CLAIRE: Grab a wine cooler, ladies, we're goin' in.
They all laugh, as --
A SPIKED BALL ROLLS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GIRLS. Maria pushes the ball in front of Susan.
The cutest boy, JEFFREY WRIGHT, takes a few steps off the court.
JEFFREY (all charm and backlight): Little help.
And you can probably guess where things go from there....to murder!!!!
Brian Wice, who hit the pinnacle of his career by winning a Houston Press Best of Houston award for his role in the Wright case (among other cases), shows up at the beginning and end of the movie.
We gave him a call.
The stage directions describe him as "handsome," but he does not know what actor is playing him. (Given the low-level starpower of the cast, it's probably nobody anyone's heard of.)
So who should?
"There are two schools of thought," he says, as only he can. "My good friends say that my role should be a comeback vehicle for George Clooney, and the people who are somewhat less enamored of my work think it should be the "Hey Vern" guy or Anthony Weiner."
He, on the other hand, thinks it should be Michael Keaton.
Here's the preview:
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.