The cinematic version of John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces” has been a long time in the making. Indeed, the publication of the novel is a tragic odyssey in its own right. Toole was unable to find a publisher interested in his manuscript in his lifetime and succumbing to frustration and despair took his own life in 1969. He was only 31 years old.
His heartbroken mother made it her life’s work to see her son’s talent recognized. His masterwork was eventually published and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1981. Now, over 30-years later the book’s vivid anti-hero, Ignatius J. Reilly, is set to be brought to the big screen by screen by comedian Zack Galifinakis (“The Hangover”).
James Bobin “The Muppets” director and “Flight of the Concords” co-creator is in talks to helm the film from a script by Phil Johnston (“Cedar Rapids”) with Scott Rudin and Paramount Pictures producing.
Harold Ramis (the “Animal House” scribe) was slated to write and direct the screen adaptation in 1982 with John Belushi in the starring role. Sadly, Belushi overdosed and died prematurely. John Candy (1994) and Chris Farley (1997) were also attached in the intervening years but they too, tragically and unexpectedly passed.
The story of the story is indeed rife with sadness and loss. Let us hope that this time, things move forward smoothly and with ease.
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