Gus Van Sant to Direct Adaptation of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

June 11, 2007
Source: Variety

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid TestLegendary director Gus Van Sant, who directed My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester, and Elephant, among many other great films, already had a new film debut at the Cannes Film Fest this year, titled Paranoid Park (which won him an award at the fest). In addition to that film, the 55 year old filmmaker's already got his next project lined up - an adaptation of the 1960's hallucinogenic novel "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" written by Tom Wolfe early in his career. The script will be written by Lance Black (Big Love) and directed by Gus Van Sant, although there is no date set yet for when filming will begin.

The book tells the story of a cross-country road trip that "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" author Ken Kesey orchestrated with a group called the Merry Pranksters. Driving in a psychedelically painted bus (called "Furthur") from California to visit the World's Fair in New York in 1964, Kesey and his band used the trip as a way to turn on those they met to the mind-expanding wonders of LSD. Kesey ingested LSD while he wrote "Cuckoo's Nest," crediting the hallucinogen for many of the ideas in the book.

I haven't read "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" myself, or know too many people who have, but I've heard some interesting things about it. The film will focus on Kesey and include events that occurred after the road trip as well. Sounds like it could be rather interesting, and what better director than Gus Van Sant (or Richard Linklater after A Scanner Darkly) to take on this project.

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