BERLIN (Hollywood Reporter) - Emilio Estevez is filling out
his library card for his next movie. Estevez is prepping "The
Public," a social drama set in a public library that he wrote
and will direct as his follow-up to "Bobby," his 2006 ensemble
"The Public" is loosely based on a Los Angeles Times op-ed
piece written by Chip Ward, a retiring librarian in Salt Lake
City, which discussed the epidemic issue of libraries becoming
de facto shelters for the homeless and the mentally ill in
light of many social program cuts.
Estevez was on the awards circuit with "Bobby," a film that
he said brought him "out of the wilderness," when he had a
conversation with Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Co.
distributed that film with MGM.
"Harvey said, 'You have a voice and use it. And don't
follow up 'Bobby' with something frivolous,"' Estevez recalled.
"That stayed with me. And when I read this piece last April, I
thought this could be it."
Estevez, who wrote and directed "Bobby," did most of his
research for that ensemble drama at Los Angeles' historic
downtown public library and as such was familiar with it. After
reading the article, he went back and saw what he had missed.
"It was every bit as bad as the op-ed piece described it,"
The story takes place during the two coldest days of the
year in Los Angeles, when the library is overwhelmed by people
seeking shelter. After the library administration rebuffs one
librarian's attempts to keep the doors open, he stages an act