Author Chuck Palahniuk is no stranger to seeing his work realized on film. The adaptation of Fight Club helped the ‘90s go out with a very big bang, while also introducing movie audiences to the author’s penchant for seedy and grotesque material. Despite a lukewarm reception for Choke, snail-like progress on screen translations ofSurvivor & Invisible Monsters, and the seemingly unfilmable gang bang thriller, Snuff, it seems that Hollywood is still willing to give literary fiction’s shock jock another try.
Funding was secured for the adaptation of Palahniuk’s 23-story anthology, Haunted, including the notoriously disgusting body horror piece Guts. For those unfamiliar with the bestseller, here’s a synopsis via Amazon:
“Haunted is a novel made up of twenty-three horrifying, hilarious, and stomach-churning stories. They’re told by people who have answered an ad for a writer’s retreat and unwittingly joined a ‘Survivor’-like scenario where the host withholds heat, power, and food. As the storytellers grow more desperate, their tales become more extreme, and they ruthlessly plot to make themselves the hero of the reality show that will surely be made from their plight. This is one of the most disturbing and outrageous books you’ll ever read, one that could only come from the mind of Chuck Palahniuk.”
The update was provided on the author’s website The Cult, where it was confirmed that Brian Levy (of the foundling company New School Media) had optioned the work. The film was originally announced in 2008 — and even found a writer-director in the form of Belgium filmmaker Koen Mortier (Ex Drummer) — but developments soon stalled. With financing in place, and Mortier still on board, it seems that fans will finally get to see all the book’s gory little details play out on the big screen.
Haunted will present a number of challenges for those involved, especially since it’s New School Media’s first big project, along with the first English-language film for Mortier. Seeing how the newcomers juggle the multi-narrative text and the extremely graphic material should prove very interesting indeed.
Considering the status of recent Palahniuk adaptation attempts, do you think Haunted will get made?
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