Alexander Payne to Adapt Daniel Clowes’ WILSON

     November 9, 2011


Writer-director Alexander Payne has a likely Oscar-contender on his hands with The Descendants, his first movie since 2004’s Sideways.  We shouldn’t expect another seven-year absence from Payne since he’s gearing up for an April start date on his next movie, Nebraska. The film will shoot in black-and-white and is searching for a respected veteran actor to play the lead role of an aging alcoholic father.

Empire reports that Payne is already planning his follow-up to Nebraska by adapting Daniel Clowes‘ graphic novel, Wilson.  We reported last year that Fox Searchlight had acquired the book as a directing vehicle for Payne.  The movie follows “a middle-aged misanthrope who’s left floundering after the death of his father and tries to reconnect with his ex-wife and the teenager daughter he’s never known.”  Clowes (Ghost World) wrote the screenplay and the movie will be set in Oakland, California.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of Wilson.  I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m interested to see anything Payne does.  The Descendants opens in limited release on November 16th.

Here’s the synopsis for Daniel Clowes’ Wilson:

Meet Wilson, an opinionated middle-aged loner who loves his dog and quite possibly no one else. In an ongoing quest to find human connection, he badgers friend and stranger alike into a series of one-sided conversations, punctuating his own lofty discussions with a brutally honest, self-negating sense of humor. After his father dies, Wilson, now irrevocably alone, sets out to find his ex-wife with the hope of rekindling their long-dead relationship, and discovers he has a teenage daughter, born after the marriage ended and given up for adoption.Wilson eventually forces all three to reconnect as a family—a doomed mission that will surely, inevitably backfire.

In the first all-new graphic novel from one of the leading cartoonists of our time, Daniel Clowes creates a thoroughly engaging, complex, and fascinating portrait of the modern egoist—outspoken and oblivious to the world around him.Working in a single-page-gag format and drawing in a spectrum of styles, the cartoonist of Ghost World, Ice Haven, and David Boring gives us his funniest and most deeply affecting novel to date. [Amazon]



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