Jason Reitman Adapting Walter Kirn's Up in the Air Next!
by Alex Billington
May 14, 2008
Ever since Juno first hit theaters last fall and everyone began talking about Jason Reitman's future, we've been anxious to find out exactly what his next film would be. He started dropping hints as early as last December that he would be adapting another book, but wouldn't reveal the name or any details. Finally he revealed in March that it was similar to Thank You For Smoking, but corporate instead of political. At first, everyone thought it could be Max Barry's Company, but that was rather quickly debunked. Now today, Latino Review has exclusively discovered that Jason Reitman will be adapting the book Up in the Air written by Walter Kirn next. Good news? Definitely!
El Mayimbe confirms that Jason's father, Ivan Reitman (of Ghostbusters fame), is executive producing and owns the rights to the novel. While El Mayimbe doesn't have any more details to go along with the story, he is on the inside track and says this is official. Apparently Ivan picked up a spec script for an adaptation back in 2003 and my guess is Jason has written a new script for it on his own. Another one of Walter Kirn's novels, Thumbsucker, was adapted as a feature film back in 2005. Jason previously stated that he's going to direct Up in the Air late this year before moving on to Pierre Pierre afterwards. The budget is expected to be around $12 to $15 million for this film.
From Amazon.com: In this quirky and unsettling novel, Kirn manages to capture on paper much of what is worst about our present age. Ryan Bingham, a business flyer, is six days from attaining his personal goal of one million miles on his frequent-flyer account. He's in the air so much that he has no actual real-world address, having become, instead, a resident of "Airworld," where "my hometown papers are USA Today and the Wall Street Journal." Bingham's job is CTC (Career Transition Counseling) helping large companies fire their executives with minimal legal risk. The job is wearing him down, but he's determined to reach his mileage goal, and this determination, amazingly, provides sufficient suspense to carry the reader along from airport to airport. Kirn has a gift for exploiting telling details about our consumption-mad culture, hinting at dark marketing conspiracies that will have us all buying strange items within the month, as though we were simply puppets of the marketing companies, one of which Bingham aspires to: MythTech. Harrowing reading, but worth the turbulence.
Let me be the first to say this sounds downright incredible. I actually picked up Max Barry's Company when I first heard about it and finished it in a week. Now I can't get enough of these books about the insane corporate world and this one sounds downright awesome. I haven't heard much about it, as Reitman once said that not many people have heard of it, but that description alone and Reitman's involvement has me more excited for this than even Transformers 2! If everything so far isn't enough to get you interested, then throw this previous quote from Reitman into the mix: "Most of the time, in a movie, it's about a guy and at the beginning he's lonely, and he thinks he has it all and he meets a girl and she changes everything… this is not that movie."
What I love about Reitman is he is one of the last few original filmmakers left in Hollywood. Yes, he is adapting from a book, but his films are always still so fresh and so unique and such a relief in a world full of Hollywood-created crap. Up in the Air definitely sounds like a project that could become the next great classic corporate spoof, along the lines of Office Space but with the Jason Reitman touch. I can't even begin to tell you how satisfying it is to hear this news about Reitman's next film! We'll definitely be following the development of this one closely!