If you're a fan of Michael Chabon's writing, you've no doubt read his Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. The book tells the tale of Sam Klayman, "little man, city boy and Jew", and his cousin, Josef Kavalier, a refugee from Nazi-occupied Prague. The two create a comic-book character called "The Escapist", a superhero who, through the pen of Joe Kavalier, takes on Hitler through the evil Iron Chain and their leader, Attila Haxoff. The story has golems, magic, comic books, miraculous escapes, and romance. What more could you want in a great story?
The movie adaptation of Kavalier and Clay has been listed on IMDb as being in "pre-production" forever and a day now, and a couple weeks ago, as Erik noted, Michael Chabon himself wrote an update on his website, indicating that the project will be green-lighted -- or not -- at a meeting "on or around 12 July 2006". Chabon also reported that Natalie Portman is a "strong likelihood" for the coveted part of Rosa Saks (the woman around whom the aforementioned "romance" swirls), that other casting is ongoing, and that animation tests are being run for the comic books sequences. Chabon also lists some "quick answers" that will only make sense to fans of the book: "Golem: yes. Antarctica: yes. Gay love story: yes. Ruins of World's Fair: no. Long Island: no. Orson Welles: no. Salvador Dali: yes. Loving reference to Betty and Veronica: no. Stan Lee: no."
Today I checked in on Chabon's website, and found some rather cryptic updates on Kavalier and Clay and another project that Chabon has been working, on Snow and the Seven:
Kavalier and Clay: Status: Complying With Polite Request To Stop Posting About It On This Website, Already.
Snow and the Seven: "They love you, but they want to go in another direction." "What kind of dir--" "More of a fun direction." "Oh."
I was unable to find any further info in culling the usual sites for Chabon updates, so I went straight to the source -- or the next best thing -- Chabon's wife, author Ayelet Waldman, who confirmed that Chabon has been replaced on Snow, although it's not clear with whom, and that Kavalier and Clay "has not been greenlit." Bummer on both counts. On the bright side, though, Mysteries of Pittsburgh is about to start principal photography in Pittsburgh, and "not yet been greenlit" is not quite the same as "dead in the water," so here's hoping that Kavalier and Clay will eventually get made, and made right.