Daniel Clowes is the Mark Millar of the indie comics set, with two of his graphic novels—Ghost World and Art School Confidential—having been filmed. And now a third, Wilson, based on the GN of the same name, is back on track, with filming set for Minneapolis next month. The script is by Clowes.
The book was originally slated to be directed by Alexander Payne, back in 2010, and bounced around a bit before Fox Searchlight picked it up. If the Clowes tale—about a grumpy, socially awkward man who is painfully obtuse as he attempts to connect with other humans—was not written directly for Payne to direct, it night as well have been as all his films deal with familial estrangement. But it turns out the film will be directed by Craig Johnson, previously of The Skeleton Twins, and Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern will star as the misanthropic Wilson and his ex-wife/connection interest.
Payne will still produce, however, with his Ad Hominem Enterprises partners Jim Taylor and Jim Burke, Sam Raimi and Josh Donen all attached in some way.
I just happened to watch The Skeleton Twins the other night (it was edited and produced by Jennifer Lee, formerly of Vertigo, and an old Beat Pal.) It was a smart, deft film about…people awkwardly trying to connect with their true feelings, with Hader and Wiig shining. Harrelson and Dern are great 90% of the time, so this sounds like a quality project all around.