James Franco Will Be Adapting Chuck Palahniuk's 2008 Novel 'Rant'
Franco and Palahniuk? Quite an interesting combination. We've been covering news about adaptations of Chuck Palahniuk novels for many years, not to mention anything related to Fight Club. Many projects come and go, some make it into production (like Choke with Sam Rockwell a few years ago), and others stay stuck in development forever. The latest adaptation coming together is of his 2008 novel Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey, about a high school rebel who starts an "urban demolition derby". So who is adapting it? None other than actor/filmmaker James Franco, apparently set to direct following adapting Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. I'm not sure if he's a good fit, but if this actually happens, I say bring it on.
Here's the full quote from Chuck Palahniuk himself that Lit Reactor posted as their scoop. Palahniuk says:
"As of last night we've finalized a deal for James Franco to option my novel Rant. Details about the casting, shooting and a proposed release date will be forthcoming. Hurray. After the opportunity to work with Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Sam Rockwell, I can't imagine a more exciting actor to work with than Franco."
Well that's good news. It sounds like things are moving along (and anything James Franco gets involved in, whether it's a doc about kinky sex or a dark, dirty western, usually ends actually going into production) and we might see this sooner than later. If that's the case, it will beat out adaptations of Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters, and Lullaby, and Snuff!, and Survivor, to be the first since Choke to actually go into production. We first wrote about Rant being turned into a movie way back in 2008 – and haven't heard much since then. So what is Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey about? It sounds crazy, of course–via Amazon:
"Buster 'Rant' Casey just may be the most efficient serial killer of our time. A high school rebel, Rant Casey escapes from his small town home for the big city where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. With hilarity, horror, and blazing insight, Rant is a mind-bending vision of the future, as only Chuck Palahniuk could ever imagine."
At least this sounds like a great story for a movie. And after the world gets its ass kicked by George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road when it hits theaters next summer, they know audiences are going to be hungry for more road rage/car action scenes. Can Franco pull this off? That's the bigger question. From another plot description of the book, it explains that it's "set in a future where urbanites are segregated by strict curfews into Daytimers and Nighttimers." I love the concept and the world behind this, I just think it needs a very competent direction with visual prowess on top of storytelling technique. I admittedly haven't seen Child of God yet, but from what I've heard, I'm a bit concerned. Only time will tell and I'll be curious to hear the rest of the details about who's involved and how this is going to work. In the meantime, grab a copy of the book.