Screenwriter Haas to hold book signing after screening

By Katdie Norton

The film and digital media department will host screenwriter, fiction novelist and Baylor alum nus ‘91 Derek Haas on campus today for a book signing and film showing.

Haas co-wrote several movies with another Baylor alumnus ‘91, Michael Brandt, including “3:10 to Yuma,” “Wanted” and also the October 2011 release, “The Double,” starring Richard Gere.

FDM professor Dr. Michael Korpi traveled out of town to see “The Double,” which was a limited release and not shown in Waco.

“I liked the film,” Korpi said. “It was a low-budget, limited release film that was treated very unkindly by the viewers, but I think that’s because they didn’t get it. It is a very subtle and sophisticated film, and if you don’t get it, you won’t like it.”

In the film a retired CIA operative is paired with a young FBI agent to unravel the mystery of a senator’s murder, with all signs pointing to a Soviet assassin.

Beyond screenwriting, Haas and Brandt wanted to produce and direct films. “The Double” was the first film with which they were able to achieve that goal. Haas produced and Brandt directed the film.

Hansen said Haas started as a screenwriter, but after he and Brandt experienced some success, he wanted to write fiction too.

“He came up to Michael [Brandt] one day and asked him to check something out, and that something was a finished novel,” Hansen said. “Michael was shocked and wondered when he’d even had time to write it.”

Haas’ first novel was “The Silver Bear,” which has turned into a series of three novels so far.

He will be signing his latest novel, “Dark Men,” at 3 p.m. today in the Baylor bookstore.

Along with his film and novel careers, Haas is the founder and editor of a website called Popcorn Fiction.

“It’s pulp fiction written by screen-writers,” Korpi said.

“He wanted to make a venue for screenwriters to put fresh, new ideas for movies, because Hollywood is making a lot of sequels these days. One of the stories he posted was bought by Jerry Bruckheimer, so we may be seeing that as a film.”

The screening of “The Double” will begin at 7 p.m. today in 101 Castellaw. It will be followed by a Q&A session and reception in the Castellaw student lounge, hosted by the Fine Arts Living & Learning Community.

“The Double” was released on DVD and BluRay on Tuesday and is also available for streaming via Netflix’s instant queue.