Three Easy Pieces


More than 20 years after collaborating on “Five Easy Pieces”--which was nominated for four Oscars including best picture--Jack Nicholson, director Bob Rafelson and screenwriter Carole Eastman are together again.

They’re re-teamed for “Man Trouble,” co-produced by Eastman and Bruce Gilbert for Penta Films. To begin shooting here in late April, the film is a romance between a trainer of attack dogs (Nicholson) and a member of a master chorale (Ellen Barkin).

Eastman, who writes under the pseudonym Adrien Joyce, tells us the film has comedy, as well as “dark elements,” and that she wrote the project with Nicholson in mind. “Though I had no idea if he’d want to do it.”


“Man Trouble” was originally written for producer David Geffen in the ‘70s, a decade in which Eastman had her last produced screenplay: “The Fortune” (1975), which also starred Nicholson.

Then came a self-imposed hiatus of more than five years (“maybe even longer--I don’t keep track of time”).

“It was an enriching period,” she says. “I explored other forms of writing.”

She declines to discuss that work “because I’m tremendously superstitious,” but says that her “comeback” script was the romantic comedy “Running Mates,” written for Paramount Pictures and now in turnaround.

Why did she leave the business?

“I was discouraged--and very disappointed with the situation of screenwriters.”