Killers Crafting Their Own''Thriller''

By John Benson, Cleveland

Living up to its moniker, the Killers are moving forward with plans to produce a 25-minute movie based around a murder trilogy. "It's kind of like our 'Thriller,'" drummer Ronnie Vannucci tells "We want to make a movie -- not so much a music video -- based on three songs to be played on MTV."

"But we want to get established actors, not like some hot actor right now, and we want to make it as real and as serious as possible," he adds. "We don't plan on being in the movie. It's going to be something that's by the Killers and our idea, but it's not going to be like, 'Look at me.' We want to try and make it more about the art than the exposure."

The film will feature "Midnight Show" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," from the Killers' platinum Island debut, "Hot Fuss," along with unreleased song "Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf." Having already taken meetings with various Hollywood directors and actors, the Las Vegas-based band hopes to have the project finished later this year. The idea is for it to bridge the gap for fans before the Killers' sophomore album tentatively arrives next spring.

Third "Hot Fuss" single "Smile Like You Mean It" is No. 16 this week on Billboard's Modern Rock chart, but "All These Things That I've Done" is already tipped to be the next track worked to modern rock and pop outlets. There's also talk that "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" could end up being a fifth single, depending on the reception for the mini-film.

The Killers will be on the road internationally through August, including a few shows opening for U2 in Europe. The group drops in on Columbus, Ohio, tonight (May 27).

Vannucci says the group is currently performing three new tracks -- "Where Is She," "All the Pretty Faces" and "Stereo of Lies" -- with an eye on entering the recording studio in November.

The drummer says the Killers have 30 rough ideas and 10 concrete tracks for their new album. "I think we're trying to open up a bit," he says. "At least the kind of the mindset we're going in with is leaving some space. We kind of collectively think that a lot of stuff on 'Hot Fuss' is a little too cluttered sounding."