Perry Moore

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Perry Moore
Born William Perry Moore IV
(1971-11-04)November 4, 1971
Richmond, Virginia, US
Died February 17, 2011(2011-02-17) (aged 39)
Manhattan, New York City
Occupation Film producer
Novelist
Nationality American
Alma mater Norfolk Academy,
University of Virginia
Period Modern
Genre Fantasy
Children's literature
Notable works Hero,
Produced The Chronicles of Narnia
Partner Hunter Hill (?-2011)

William Perry Moore IV (November 4, 1971[1] – February 17, 2011),[2] also known as Perry Moore, was an American author, screenwriter, and film director. He was an executive producer of The Chronicles of Narnia film series and the author of Hero, an award-winning novel about a homosexual teenage superhero.

Early life[edit]

Moore was born on November 4, 1971, in Richmond, Virginia, to William and Nancy Norris Moore.[1][2][3] His father was a Vietnam War veteran who received the Bronze Star.[3] He had two sisters, Jane and Elizabeth.[1] He grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia,[1][4] and graduated high school from Norfolk Academy in 1990.[5][6] He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1994,[1][7] and while still in college interned at the Virginia Film Festival.[1] He also served as an intern in the White House[3] and at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in New York City.[1]

He worked on the production team for The Rosie O'Donnell Show,[1][8] then joined Walden Media (a media production company created by conservative billionaire Phillip Anschutz to produce family-friendly movies, documentaries, and television programs).[8][9] He was the executive in charge of production for the film I Am David, an adaptation the Anne Holm novel North to Freedom.[8]

Film career[edit]

Moore was an executive producer of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[10] Moore spent several years seeking the movie rights to the seven novels by C. S. Lewis which comprise the Narnia books.[11] Moore's persistence proved critical for Walden Media in winning the rights; an obituary in Variety called his role "instrumental".[12] As the New York Times reported in 2005: "At the beginning of 2001, Perry Moore embarked on a forbidding quest. Mr. Moore, an executive with an untested movie company called Walden Media, dispatched an impassioned letter to the chief executive of the C. S. Lewis Company, seeking movie rights to the much-loved Chronicles of Narnia fantasy novels."[13] After a meeting of executives, a handshake sealed the deal for the rights.[13] Moore continued his role as executive producer with Prince Caspian (2008) and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010).[14]

He co-wrote and co-directed (with life partner Hunter Hill) the 2008 film Lake City, a drama that tells the story of a mother (Sissy Spacek) and son (Troy Garity) who reunite under desperate circumstances years after a family tragedy drove them apart.[12][15] He also co-produced (again with Hill) a Spike Jonze-directed 2010 documentary (Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak) about children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak.[8][12][16]

In early 2010, Moore said he and Hill were planning to co-direct a feature film to star actress Julianne Moore.[3][5] The night before he died, Moore told his father that he had just secured financing for a fourth Narnia movie based on the book The Magician's Nephew.[5]

Writing career[edit]

In addition to his work in production and development, Moore wrote The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion.[11][17] The book was on the New York Times bestseller list in December 2005 and January 2006.[1]

A longtime fan of children's literature and comic books,[3] Moore's novel Hero was first published by Hyperion Books in August 2007. The young adult novel tells the story of a closeted homosexual teenager who becomes a superhero.[4][18] In May 2008, Hero won a Lambda Literary Award as the best LGBT Children's/Young Adult novel of the past year.[19] In 2008, Moore was in talks with veteran comic book writer Stan Lee about producing a television series based on the book.[20] Moore began writing a sequel to Hero in 2009.[3][21] Moore's father said that in early 2011 his son was working on turning Hero into a movie on the Starz cable television channel.[5]

In February 2010, Moore said he was also at work on a new novel, Way of the Wolf, Book One: Fire, about triplets who inherit super powers and have to stop a villain from taking over the Earth.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Moore was openly gay[22] and lived in New York City with life partner Hunter Hill (a writer for Paper magazine). Moore was also a Christian and spoke publicly about his faith.[12] According to family members, Moore had suffered knee and back problems before his death, which required pain medication and corrective surgery, but which he had put off to continue working.[5]

Moore died on February 17, 2011, at the age of 39. The New York Daily News reported his death was from an apparent drug overdose. His body was discovered by Hill in their SoHo apartment.[2] The New York Times and Variety reported that the cause of death was yet to be officially announced, and that a medical examiner's report was pending.[1][12] Local police said there was no obvious evidence of foul play.[1] An initial autopsy proved inconclusive.[23] The chief medical examiner later deteremine that Moore died from taking a combination of benzodiazepine, methadone, and morphine.[24]

Moore left no will, and New York State did not pass a law permitting gay marriage until four months after Moore's death. Moore's parents inherited his entire $1.3 million estate, which included a home at 180 W. Houston Street in Manhattan which he co-purchased with Hunter Hill. The family sought to sell their portion of the home, forcing Hill to either pay them or sell his share as well. The Moore family sued Hill in late 2012 to force Hill to decide.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hevesi, Dennis. "Perry Moore, Author of Book About Gay Superhero, Dies at 39." New York Times. February 18, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Weichselbaum, Simone and Kemp, Joe. "'Narnia' Executive Producer Perry Moore Found Dead in SoHo Home After Apparent Overdose." New York Daily News. February 18, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Bertolotti, Nancy. "Interview With Perry Moore." Young Adult Library Services Association. February 10, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Nir, Sarah Maslin. "Meet Perry Moore, Caped Crusader for Gay Superheroes." The Sunday Times. May 2, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Virginia Beach Native and 'Narnia' Producer, Perry Moore, Found Dead at 39." WTKR-TV. February 18, 2011. Accessed February 18, 2011.
  6. ^ "Notable Alumnus Returns to Norfolk Academy." Norfolk Academy. February 10, 2006.
  7. ^ "Virginia Film Festival to Welcome Actors Sissy Spacek and Troy Garity For Opening Night Screening Of 'Lake City'." Press release. University of Virginia. October 7, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c d "Perry Moore." All Movie Guide. No date. Accessed February 18, 2011.
  9. ^ Leonard, Devin. "The Passion of Philip Anschutz." Fortune. April 16, 2006.
  10. ^ O'Connor, Colleen. "God or Fantasy?" Denver Post. November 20, 2005.
  11. ^ a b Bamigboye, Baz. "Back in the Wardrobe Kids!" Daily Mail. October 28, 2005.
  12. ^ a b c d e Thielman, Sam. "'Narnia' Producer Found Dead in NYC." Variety. February 18, 2011.
  13. ^ a b Manly, Loren. "The Stepson, the Billionaire and the Walt Disney Co." New York Times. November 6, 2005.
  14. ^ "Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Variety. December 7, 2010; "Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." Variety. May 9, 2008.
  15. ^ Hartl, John. "Trip Home Turns Into Murky Reunion in Lake City." Seattle Times. December 11, 2008.
  16. ^ Gandert, Sean. "Spike Jonze Working on Maurice Sendak Documentary." Paste. December 10, 2008.
  17. ^ Moore, Perry. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Official Illustrated Movie Companion. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2005.
  18. ^ Gustines, George Gene. "A Novelist's Superhero Is Out to Right Wrongs." New York Times. September 3, 2007.
  19. ^ "Lambda Literary Awards Announce Winners." Press release. Lambda Literary Foundation. May 29, 2008.
  20. ^ Marcus, Bennett. "Is America's First Gay Superhero Coming to TV?" New York Magazine. May 22, 2008.
  21. ^ "Author Interview." PerryMooreStories.com. No date. Accessed July 28, 2009.
  22. ^ "An Unsecret Identity." Newsweek. August 13, 2007.
  23. ^ "Co-Producer of 'Narnia' Films Dies at 39 in NYC." Associated Press. February 19, 2011.
  24. ^ a b Ross, Barbara. "Family and Lifetime Partner of Late 'Chronicles of Narnia' Producer Perry Moore in Epic Real Estate Battle Over Manhattan Home." New York Daily News. January 4, 2013. Accessed 2013-08-24.

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