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Dark Comedy Heaven: Fox Searchlight Unites Dan Clowes and Alexander Payne on ‘Wilson’

Retro IONCINEMA.com

Dark Comedy Heaven: Fox Searchlight Unites Dan Clowes and Alexander Payne on ‘Wilson’

Lifelong cynics will most certainly love the plan that Fox Searchlight just hatched. Call this a marriage made in dark comedy heaven, names Alexander Payne and Dan Clowes are being mentioned in the same sentence as Searchlight appears to be giving Payne a vote of confidence once again by looking to move him from The Descendants to Wilson — the Dan Clowes graphic novel. Payne’s Ad Hominem will produce with Josh Donen, on behalf of Sam Raimi’s Stars Road.

Lifelong cynics will most certainly love the plan that Fox Searchlight just hatched. Call this a marriage made in dark comedy heaven, names Alexander Payne and Dan Clowes are being mentioned in the same sentence as Searchlight appears to be giving Payne a vote of confidence once again by looking to move him from The Descendants to Wilson — the Dan Clowes graphic novel. Payne’s Ad Hominem will produce with Josh Donen, on behalf of Sam Raimi’s Stars Road. Clowes will pen the screenplay. 

Gist: You can find a snippet of the graphic novel here, basically Wilson tells the story of an opinionated middle-aged loner who loves his dog and maybe nobody else. He begins a quest to find human connection, badgering friends and strangers into a series of one-sided conversations that get derailed by his brutally honest sense of humor. When his father dies, Wilson is really alone and sets out to find his ex-wife in hopes of rekindling their long dead relationship. In the process, he discovers he has a teen daughter, who was born after the marriage ended and given up for adoption. He becomes determined to reconnect all three of them as a family. You know that can’t end well.

Worth Noting: Speaking of Clowes…anyone know what has happened to Migel Munya – the Clowes scripted project that was based on an idea from the father and son team of the Michel and Paul Gondry?

Do We Care?: We dug specific moments but weren’t rabid fans of Clowes’ adapted g-novels such as Ghost World and Art School Confidential, but this project singles out one underdog and pairs him up with stuff we didn’t get to see in a certain Jarmusch film. We are stoked for this one as it will pretty much set up Payne with what he does best: grumpy, middle-aged men a la Sideways, About Schmidt.

Wilson Alexander Payne Fox Searchlight

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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