A Confederacy of Dunces is one of “those” projects — the kind whose name will emerge every couple of years, recede for a couple more, and completely dissipate from your mind throughout that latter period. Little did I know that its Hollywood days originated in 1982, when Harold Ramis worked with Universal to adapt the John Kennedy Toole novel — John Belushi would have led — and, several years ago, Will Ferrell was going to lead a version co-written by Steven Soderbergh; David Gordon Green was pegged to helm. There’s more in-between, but those two efforts alone make it a legendary unmade film. Or, one of “those” projects.
Yet there may finally be light at the end of this film’s 30-year tunnel, with Vulture reporting that James Bobin (The Muppets) is in negotiations to direct for Paramount and producer Scott Rudin — Zach Galifianakis, meanwhile, is apparently attached to lead as Ignatius J. Reilly. Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids, Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska) will be on scripting duties.
For more information on the plot, you can read Amazon‘s summary below:
“Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole’s tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. (“Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.”) But Ignatius’s quiet life of tyrannizing his mother and writing his endless comparative history screeches to a halt when he is almost arrested by the overeager Patrolman Mancuso–who mistakes him for a vagrant–and then involved in a car accident with his tipsy mother behind the wheel. One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, Ignatius is out pounding the pavement in search of a job.”
I haven’t found any indications that Dunces is particularly difficult to adapt for film — nor do I get that impression from the above, basic description — so the long road to this film’s actual production isn’t something I’d be sweating over. That’s good, too; at the risk of sounding like a rube who doesn’t bother reading, I’m merely interested on the grounds of seeing a comedic collaboration between Bobin and Galifianakis.
Have you read A Confederacy of Dunces? Is this the right grouping of talent?
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