Neil Jordan Set to Write and Direct a 'Skippy Dies' Adaptation

August 2, 2010
Source: Deadline

Neil Jordan / Skippy Dies

You may not had heard of Neil Jordan's almost literal fish out of water story Ondine starring Colin Farrell until we tossed up a couple trailers and a positive review from our own Jeremy Kirk. Well, you won't be out of the loop with Jordan's next project as Deadline reports the filmmaker will write and direct an adaptation of Paul Murray's novel Skippy Dies, a story following the adventures of two unlikely schoolmates, Skippy and Ruprecht, at an Irish private school. Upon first inspection, it doesn't sound too thrilling, but apparently the book has been described as "South Park" meets Tom Brown's Schooldays, which sounds much better.

Here's a more extended look at the story found in the teenage-centric novel from Paul Murray:

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin “MC Sexecutioner” Flynn to basketballplaying midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

To be honest, this seems like it has the potential for an ecclectic cast of characters and an opportunity for some young actors to show why they belong in this industry, or at least I hope Jordan is developing it that way. I haven't been a fan of everything Neil Jordan has done previously (e.g. The Butcher Boy, The Brave One), but Ondine sounds like a return to form from his work on films like The Crying Game. We know he's tackled interesting adolescence stories before with We're No Angels (one that Sean Penn probably doesn't like to talk about), but hopefully this fares a bit better than an 80's comedy. Anyone read Skippy Dies?

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