/Film today has an interview with Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk, in which he discusses the Choke movie (just bought by Fox Seachlight – four clips here) and the status of his other books, pretty much all of which have been optioned.
Chuck Palahniuk: Yeah. They had the option for a long time. I talked to Gregg Clark [Clark Gregg] on and off about what he might put into the screenplay, what he might cut. And having a screenplay is like having another draft. So all the sort of spirit of the stairway things that you wanted to put in, but you didn’t think of them until a month after the manuscript went to press…
Peter: Well you said that about the ending of Fight Club, didn’t you?
Palahniuk: You know, I had the back and fourth [sic] but the ending was entirely David’s. But I knew that David had to bring up the romance at the end so I could understand why he did. In the same way I can remember why Clark left the stone house stoning scene out. Because there is only so much that can go in a movie before it becomes overload.
I always hated the ending of Fight Club. But if, say, Britney Spears wants to believe that you can cure multiple personality disorder by shooting yourself in the head, so be it.
Peter: Don’t you think the cult success of Fight Club would have propelled more of your books onto the big screen quicker?
Palahniuk: If it hadn’t been for 911, yeah. 911 just made the idea of any kind of dark thing hard for people to be with for the time. I think that really was the reason.
Peter: My favorite book of yours is Survivor and…
Palahniuk: Knock on wood, because the folks who just made I Am Legend are making Survivor.
Peter: Is there any forward movement on that?
Palahniuk: Yes, they have a screenplay. Last I heard they ordered one more revision on the screenplay before they are ready to cast it. Fingers crossed.
Yikes, not sure I’d trust anything in the hands of the people who made I Am Legend. True story: a friend of mine works for a visual FX company that the I Am Legend people approached about the zombies mutant things that were in that movie, and when the VFX people heard the idea they told them, "Uh, you’d probably be better off just using real people in makeup for that." (Keep in mind that that’s like Jiffy Lube telling you your car doesn’t need an oil change) Of course they decided to go CGI anyway. Way to go, guys! I always thought Night of the Living Dead would’ve been way better if the zombies were all identical cartoons.
On Lullaby and Diary:
Peter: Any update on Lullaby?
Palahniuk: Lullaby is with a man named Rolf Johansson, a Swedish director. I met with him a year ago in England. And his goal was to get it into production in two years. So he has one more year.
Peter: So he has an option?
Palahniuk: Yeah. Diary they have a screenplay. Last I heard they were going to start casting.
Peter: Who is making Diary?
Palahniuk: A man named Yanni who was the director for Harrison Ford’s… uhhh I can’t remember if it’s the airplane movie or the one before that, the sub marine movie… He was a director of Michelle Pfeiffer in The Portrait of a Lady. [Editors Note: I am unable to figure out what director Palahniuk is referring to]. So he’s been around for a long time.
Christ, did this guy write anything that isn’t being made into a movie? Not that I’m complaining. Book adaptations are far preferable to ideas from studio execs.
Peter: What about Invisible Mosters.
Palahniuk: Invisible Monsters has been optioned by a man named Jesse Peyronel from Great Brittan [sic – Ed Note: Seriously?] for a long long time. Everytime he gets it cast, fiancing [sic] falls apart. He’s been working on it for a long.
Peter: I’ve been waiting for that one, it would make an interesting movie. Wasn’t Jessica Biel attached to that?
Palahniuk: She was… Milla Jovovich was attached to it for a little bit. I’ve heard so many names that I’ve stopped paying attention. That’s kind of the miracle of Choke. I’ve been hearing these little dispatches, little updates, and then suddenly BOOM everything aligned within this tiny tiny window. And it all happened very quickly. And to hear that it sold so quickly last night.
Yeah, way to go, Chuck, you’re a huge success. It reminds me of the other day when I used a hilarious inside joke as a MySpace headline. The whole gang was talking about it!