Emilio Estevez is bringing his next project to the public…
The 54-year-old part-Spanish American actor/filmmaker is set to direct the dramedy the public, which will pull back the curtain on what is really happening inside America’s public libraries.
Christian Slater, Jeffrey Wright and Michael Kenneth Williams will star in the film, which will tell the story about “the last bastion of Democracy in action.”
Having researched in the depths of the Los Angeles Public Library, Estevez said that libraries across the country have become a safe haven for the homeless.
“When I was doing research on the film Bobby, I spent a lot of time in the Los Angeles Public Library looking through microfiche for intel, so I saw this happening,” said Estevez, who wrote, is directing and also co-starring in the public.
“Then I read a Los Angeles Times article that was written by a former librarian about how the libraries have become de facto homeless shelters and how librarians had become social workers,” he added. “So on a daily basis, they would have to call emergency services about people who collapsed or had an overdose or diabetic comas … it’s the last bastion of democracy in action. I was so moved by the article and what I saw, having spent so much time at the public library, I decided to start researching for a new movie — the public.”
The film centers on a standoff with police and library officials during a brutal, life-threatening cold snap. Staging an Occupy-style sit-in, library patrons — many of whom are homeless and mentally ill — turn the Cincinnati Public Library into an impromptu shelter for one night. Drawing from the current political climate, the film strives to give equal voice to both sides as it examines the question of who will care for those who are unable to care for themselves.
After the critically acclaimed Bobby, the public also has become a nice ensemble film with Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling, Jena Malone, Gabrielle Union and Che “Rhymefest” Smith also in the cast.
“I haven’t done a film in a library for over 30 years, so I’m going back to it,” Estevez, who starred in The Breakfast Club said with a laugh. “But I think that the issues we’re dealing with in our story really shows both sides of the debate and the ongoing discussion about corporate personhood vs. the public. It’s something that I wanted to do in a film — show it from the inside out.” Very timely, considering what the national discussion in our nation has become.