Curious What’s Up with Chuck Palahniuk’s SURVIVOR

     August 12, 2008

At the recent press day for “Henry Poole is Here,” I got the chance to speak with screenwriter Albert Torres (in roundtable settings) about a certain project you may have heard of… Chuck Palahniuk’s “Survivor.”

It ends up that Albert is the screenwriter that director Francis Lawrence is working with, and while I wish the news was full steam ahead, Albert told us they’re still trying to get the novel into a workable screenplay that everyone is happy with.

Thankfully, Francis is still excited about the project and they’re still working to make it happen. As a big fan of “I Am Legend” and “Constantine,” I’m really hoping that Francis finds a way to make this project happen.

For more on the status of the project and what’s going on, here’s Albert:

Question: Albert, I wanted to know what else you’re writing right now or what’s coming up?

Albert Torres: I just sold a pitch to Warner Brothers for Appian Way.

What’s it called?

Albert Torres: It’s called “Bootlegger” right now, but it’s a period piece about prohibition for Leonardo DiCaprio’s company, so I’m working on that and I’m working with my friend Francis Lawrence, who did “I Am Legend”, we’re working on adapting Chuck Palahniuk’s novel “Survivor”.

He talked about that at the “I Am Legend” junket.

Albert Torres: Yes, I gave him a lot of trouble because he just said “a friend” and I’m like dude—throw me a shout-out. Throw the name around a little bit. He’s working on it with a friend. So I’ve been working on that for a little bit. We started actually before “I Am Legend” and he went off and disappeared for 2 years and then since he’s been back we’ve been kind of molding—I don’t know if you’ve read the book—it’s a very complicated…and Chuck doesn’t write linearly so you kind of have to dismember it and then put it back together in film terms. If we can get it going it’s going to be fun.

Do you think this is going to be Francis’ next project or how is it with the studio? Like where are you in cracking the screenplay?

Albert Torres: We don’t have a studio at the moment. The thing’s been developed with a couple of producers name of…they run a company called Thousand Words. They did like “Pie” and “Requiem for a Dream”, these producers. They own the rights to the book at the moment…what was the original question though?

I’m just curious about if you think that’s going to be his next project or he’s still…?

Albert Torres: No, I mean we’re close. We’re close to getting it into the….we’re really cautious with it because it’s such a strange story and we just want it to be told in the best way possible and in a way that’s it’s very accessible.

You think he has a little juice right now Francis.

Albert Torres: Little bit.

Little bit.

Albert Torres: We’ll see. It’s hard to say until, you know there’s so many moving pieces that have to come together to get a movie going. We’re this close to kind of being ready to move forward, so it’s just a matter of finding the time to get those final pieces in place.

I understand.

Albert Torres: We’re excited about it. And the other thing about a movie like that, you have to make it fiscally responsible. I don’t think it can be $100 million movie budget wise. You have to make it for a responsible number.

They made Choke pretty low and they were able to get if off the ground.

Albert Torres: Yes, exactly.

Big Sundance sale.

Albert Torres: Yeah, exactly. I just saw it actually a couple weeks ago.

I’m just curious if it’s going to be like that? Like if he’s going to try to make it cheap and get it off the ground like that, you know?

Albert Torres: Well, based on his past I doubt it. I think he’ll do everything he can to make it as big and exciting as it should be, you know?

I hope so.

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