Hoo-boy: Harmony Korine is Adapting Alissa Nutting’s ‘Tampa’


This steamy August Friday brings word that director Harmony Korine plans to adapt Tampa, Alissa Nutting’s 2013 novel about a female teacher who seduces her 14-year-old student. Korine dropped the news in a Q&A at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, The Playlist reports.

Tampa was inspired by the 2005 case of Debra Lafave, the then-25-year-old who engaged in a sexual relationship with her 14-year-old student but managed to avoid jail time because, as her lawyer argued, “to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hellhole, is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions.” In the novel, 26-year-old Celeste is a beautiful blonde who lives in Tampa, Florida with her hunky boyfriend. But, as she baldly confesses to the reader, her true passion is for middle-schoolers — and her job as a middle-school English teacher is just a ploy to get closer to her objects of desire, in particular Jack Patrick, the eighth-grader whom she seduces.

With no shortage of explicit sex, the book has been described as a gender-reversed Lolita. The provocative material should suit Korine, as should the Florida setting — as The Playlist notes, Tampa would be his fourth movie (the most recent being Spring Breakers) set in the sunshine state.