'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Bringing 'Dirty White Boys' to Film
After last weekend's season premiere of "Game of Thrones," the HBO series' showrunners have already received good news by having their epic fantasy renewed for a fifth and sixth season, and now they've got a feature film in development as well. Deadline reports David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have struck a deal with Fox to write, direct and produce an adaptation of Dirty White Boys, Stephen Hunter's 1995 novel about three violent escaped convicts and the good cop who will pursue them to the ends of the Earth to end their spree of terror across the Southwest. But as of now it's not clear when they will actually shoot the film.
Benioff and Weiss are currently in post-production on the fourth season of "Game of Thrones," and this will be the first project outside of the HBO series they've taken on. Benioff explained how they got interested:
“We’re sitting around bullshitting and we started talking about lines we were jealous of before it came around to the familiar topic of greatest opening lines in novels. Our friend Scott Frank brought up the opening line of Dirty White Boys.
To be honest, I’d never heard of the book before, even though we’d heard of Stephen Hunter’s sniper series. Scott mentioned that opening line from Dirty White Boys, and it made me go out and buy the book, and Dan bought the book, and then we got past that first line and just fell in love with it.”
If you're curious, here's the opening line of the book:
“Three men at McAlester State Penitentiary had larger penises than Lamar Pye, but all were black and therefore, by Lamar’s own figuring, hardly human at all.”
So that gives you an idea of the kind of despicable character we're dealing with here. But Weiss explains:
“It does grab you, the first line, and what keeps you is that the characters are so well drawn, really charismatic and awful people, so flawed. I don’t think you’ll be able to print the first line, because it’s got prison-soaked racism and is just really out there.”
Pyle is the leader of the trio of convicts that includes his cousin Odell, a hulking manchild with unfeeling eyes, and also Richard, who is only alive by the grace of Pyle due to his artistic skills, mainly his crude drawing of a lion and a half-naked woman. Benioff explains the appeal and discusses the parallel with fleshed out villains, like in Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, that feel like anti-heroes:
"There is that parallel, but you have to fall in love with these characters. I’m a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy and the film adaptation, but that villain is the devil incarnate. Here, the villains do horrible things, but you feel for them. For Dan and I, we started writing Game Of Thrones in 2006, and this book could not be more different, a contemporary thriller, but the characters are so well drawn that you become attached to them, good or bad, and you want to follow them.”
But Weiss and Benioff haven't even started writing the script yet, so it's hard to say when the film will move forward. This isn't the first time Stephen Hunter's writing has been brought to the big screen since his book Point of Impact was turned into the Mark Wahlberg thriller Shooter. This story certainly sounds miles away from "Game of Thrones," but these gruff, genuine characters definitely share shades with some of the people we've seen come to life in Westeros. Weiss and Benioff won't have as big of a fanbase to flock to see the film as with "Game of Thrones," but at least we know it will be worth watching. Interested?