Alexander Payne Considers Wilson

A new Daniel Clowes adaptation

Alexander Payne Considers Wilson

by James White |
Published on

You’ve got to feel for poor **Sideways filmmaker **Alexander Payne, who, after a few years away from the director’s chair, spent several months this year in Hawaii working with George Clooney on The Descendants. And by “feel for,” we of course mean, “feel incredibly jealous of.” But while he already has a few projects lined up as possible future writing/directing assignments, he’s added one more – an adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel Wilson.

Clowes is the man who originally made Ghost World, and adapted it into a script for Terry Zwigoff to direct, which became a cult classic. The pair followed up with Art School Confidential, adapted from Clowes’ anthology Eightball, but it didn’t reach the same heights of critical love.

Now Fox Searchlight has picked up the rights to Wilson, which finds a middle-aged loser trying to reconnect with the world. Trouble is, every time he tries to make new friends or talk to old ones, his one-sided, bitter, sarcastic conversations and sudden jags of brutal humour don’t exactly endear him to anyone. After his father dies, he tries to re-kindle his relationship with his ex-wife and discovers he has a teenage daughter he never met.

This could be a solid fit for Payne, and we’re already picturing Sideways’ Paul Giamatti as the main character. But for now, it’ll wait in the seemingly eternal chamber that is development until the director decides what he’s doing next.

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