The struggle to bring John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces to the screen began over 25 years ago. Scott Kramer picked up the rights to the novel in 1980, and he has been trying to get a film made ever since. Toole's novel (published 11 years after the author had committed suicide) about an overweight and socially maladjusted philosopher on the streets of New Orleans won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981.

In 2005, Steven Soderbergh had been working on an adaptation with Will Ferrell as the lead of an all-star cast including Lily Tomlin, Mos Def, and Olympia Dukakis, but it all fell apart. How that happened depends on which story you believe: problems with publishing rights, no one in Hollywood was willing to finance it, or maybe the whole production was cursed -- those rumors were fueled not only by the author's suicide, but by the deaths of so many of the actors associated with the part in the past (John Belushi, Chris Farley, and John Candy had each been attached at one point). Not to mention the murder of Louisiana's Film Commissioner and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina ground pre-production to a halt.

A recent article in Slate reports that the cast and crew are still willing to go ahead with the project, pay cuts and all. Paramount has yet to officially commit, so when it comes to this movie, I'll believe it when I see it.
categories Cinematical