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The DC Sniper Attacks, 10 Years Later & The Upcoming Isaiah Washington Film Adaptation

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 2, 2012 at 5:03PM

The Washington Post remembers the so-called Beltway (Washington D.C. area) sniper attacks, which begun exactly 10 years ago today, October 2, 2002.
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Still Photo From 'Blue Caprice' - Photographed By Robert Blake
Still Photo From 'Blue Caprice' - Photographed By Robert Blake

The Washington Post remembers the so-called Beltway (Washington D.C. area) sniper attacks, which begun exactly 10 years ago today, October 2, 2002.

10 people were killed over a 3 week period, in October 2002 in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. 

It was later learned that the rampage was perpetrated by one man, John Allen Muhammad, and one minor, Lee Boyd Malvo, driving a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice sedan, and had apparently begun their killing spree a month prior, with murders and robberies in Louisiana and Alabama.

On the Washington Post's website is a chillingly candid, though remorseful interview with Malvo, now 27, who's currently serving 6 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole (John Allen Muhammad was executed by lethal injection in November 2009). 

I encourage you to listen to the full hour-long interview with Malvo HERE. It's very revealing. He remembers every single detail, and recounts a lot of his time with John Allen, and his reasons for his actions.

In listening to the interview, I of course remembered the upcoming film based on the tragedy, which stars Isaiah Washington as John Allen, and Tequan Richmond, best known for TV's Everybody Hates Chris, as Lee Boyd Malvo, appropriately titled Blue Capricedirected by Alexandre Moors, New York-based film, music-video and commercial director; you've likely seen some of his work, as he's directed videos for the likes of Kanye West and Talib Kweli.

Each time we've written about this project, the comments sections have been active with discussion/debate, even though all we've seen of it thus far is a 34-second teaser that really doesn't reveal much at all.

Obviously the story the film is based on is familiar and controversial itself. 

But all the pre-release conversation about the film and its story should make it a hot-button film when it's eventually released.

I've seen a few minutes more of the film than most of you, thanks to it being selected for the for the eighth annual IFP Narrative Labs over the summer, as well as during Independent Film Week here in NYC, which I covered.

And I can say that I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the rest of it, as well as the discussions that follow.

The IFP initiative it was selected for provides, amongst other things, completion, marketing and distribution assistance for sub-1 million-budgeted projects.

Still no definite word on when the film will debut; although a Sundance 2013 premiere won't be a surprise.

Its official synopsis reads:

Blue Caprice examines of one of the most charged and enigmatic events of the past decade: the 2002 shooting spree that terrorized the Washington, D.C. area and would come to be known as the Beltway sniper attacks. The film tells the story of the two snipers, Lee Malvo and John Williams, during the months leading up to the shootings, piecing together clues in an attempt to understand the circumstances and motives behind their horrific actions.

And here's an excerpt from an interview Vanessa did with Washington last fall, in which Blue Caprice was discussed:

VM: Tell me about Blue Caprice, in which you will play D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad and which you’re currently filming. How did you prepare for the role?

IW: I’m a human being, I’m going to have to tell the truth and bring honesty to the script, but, I can say that the best thing has been two books I read; one by Russian author from the 19th century Fyodor Dostoyevsky called Notes from the Underground and the book Scared Silent from John Allen Muhammad’s former wife [Mildred Muhammad]. Hopefully, it [Blue Caprice] will be very thought provoking, very intense, funny. Hopefully, people will walk out of the theater really confused about how they feel over what they thought they knew about this man because, what we see is ‘wow, this man is also trying to be a good father to his 3 kids and they were taken way from him. Now...does that excuse his behavior? Nah! But I will say that although you may not agree, hopefully it will help you understand.

VM: Tequan Richmond plays your young accomplice in the film, Lee Boyd Malvo. How is working with him?

IW: He’s going to be the breakout star of this film. I’m sure he’s going to be the one that gets all the awards and nominations. He’s young, a great professional, highly motivated, very passionate about this role and the film. I wish him nothing but the best. I told him, “if you don’t get nominated for an Oscar for this; I’m wasting my time!"

So, given his enthusiasm, the film's IFP Labs selection, the subject matter (and the fact that it appears the film will *humanize* John Allen, contrasting the monster that many see him as), the cast, director Moors' background, and the moody teaser (embedded below if you haven't seen it), I'm certainly intrigued.

And we could even say similar things about the actor who stars in the film - Isaiah Washington.

Little has been revealed since our last post on it last fall... until today's news that the project is one of 10 sub-1 million-budgeted projects selected 

Blue Caprice from alexandre moors on Vimeo.

This article is related to: Isaiah Washington


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