Invisible Monsters – Chuck PalahniukThis book is the business. It’s Fight Club with drag queens. It’s a modern twist on the age-old story of boy meets girl, girl gets lower half of face shot off in drive-by, boy dumps girl, girl befriends drag queen and boy, girl, drag queen and boy travel around the US going to open houses, taking on new identities and stealing enough painkillers and hormone pills to fill the Grand Canyon, something something wedding house fire, something something secret sex change, something something gonorrhea, the end.
It won’t be an easy adaptation; ‘unreliable narrator’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. I think it can be done – I see the story as being shot as if we are seeing the world through the narrator’s eyes, Peep Show-style. MacLaren Productions Inc. acquired rights to the novel four years ago, but a film has never materialised. All they’ve got is a sad little website, Facebook page and Twitter account asking fans to ‘demand’ an Invisible Monsters movie (not even a Kickstarter campaign).
Dream director: David Fincher
Fantasy casting: Channing Tatum as the narrator’s ex Manus Kelley, the Speedo-clad dirty cop who goes deep undercover (a bit too deep, if you catch my drift) to catch gay men trying to solicit sex in public parks; Jennifer Lawrence as the Queen Supreme, Brandy Alexander (although if J.Law ever played a drag queen, I would be worried about the internet imploding under the weight of all the gifs).Bridget Jones’s Diary with African war lords – and it’s a true story. It’s a modern twist on the age-old story of girl meets Ashton Kutcher, meeting Ashton Kutcher makes girl re-evaluate entire life so far and decide she never wants to spend time with people like Ashton Kutcher ever again, girl reads about hunky UN activist (John Prendergast, pictured) in magazine, girl stalks hunky UN activist all the way to war-torn Uganda, girl struggles to find a way to bump into hunky UN activist, girl gets job teaching impoverished African children and learns a thing or two about how not to be a selfish arsehole, girl meets Joseph Kony, girl finally gets to meet hunky UN activist, girl writes Broadway play and everyone lives happily ever after (except for the impoverished African children, who are still impoverished). Fact: I read the latter three quarters of this book in one sitting, and even cancelled a night out so I could finish it. I laughed out loud more than I ever have at any other book before, and cried when it ended.
Dream director: Jane Bussman
Fantasy casting: Sally Hawkins as Jane Bussman; George Clooney as John Prendergast (the two are even friends in real life); Don Cheadle as Joseph Kony; Charlie Sheen as Ashton Kutcher.
The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten – Julian BagginiFact: I stole most of my morals and opinions from this book. It’s non-fiction, but that didn’t stop Mean Girls (based on Queen Bees and Wannabes, Rosalind Wiseman’s self-help book for teenage girls and their parents) becoming a hit.
J.Bagg takes us through a series of ‘thought experiments’, many of them inspired by movies, including Minority Report, Total Recall and An American Werewolf in London, using vividly drawn dilemmas to help the reader examine their true beliefs about subjects like terrorism, corruption and abortion. A film could work well as a series of Waking Life-style animated vignettes.
Dream director: Richard Linklater
Fantasy casting: John C Reilly as the pig that wants to be eaten; Vince Vaughan as Dick, the guy who ends up chained to another man on life support for nine months against his will after a night of drunkeness; Eddie Murphy as Buridan’s Ass.
Dream director: dare I say David Lynch?
Fantasy casting: Will Smith as Pulitzer Prize-winning photo journalist Will Navidson; Charlize Theron as his wife, former model Karen Green; Evan Peters as Johnny Truant.
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy TooleSeriously. It’s been 33 years. Just bloody get on with it.