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J.P. Donleavy’s ‘The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B’ Gets Screen Adaptation

Written by on March 13, 2012 

According to Variety, J.P. Donleavy‘s 1968 novel, The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B, has been picked up by Donleavy-Mitchell and Honora Productions for a big screen adaption.

The novel, which has been translated into over 20 languages since its 1968 release, “follows the eponymous character — a shy and elegant young man who is victim of a bizarre series of misadventures — from his birth into his mid-20s.” Donleavy himself adapted the novel for the stage, which ran in London’s West End and starred Billy Connoly and Simon Callow.

85 year-old Donleavy is keeping this project very close, as he is also writing the screenplay alongside his son Philip. They previously worked together on adapting Donleavy‘s first novel, The Ginger Man, who Johnny Depp as a potential candidate to star. Robert Mitchell and Giles Andrew from Honora are producing the latest project.

To give the project a little more insight, here’s the detailed synopsis of the novel via Amazon:

The New York Times Book Review called The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B, J. P. Donleavy’s hilarious, bittersweet tale of a lost young man’s existential odyssey, “a triumphant piece of writing, achieved with that total authority, total mastery which shows that a fine writer is fully extended….” In the years before and after World War II, Balthazar B is the world’s last shy, elegant young man. Born to riches in Paris and raised by his governess, Balthazar is shipped off to a British boarding school, where he meets the noble but naughty Beefy. The duo matriculate to Trinity College, Dublin, where Balthazar reads zoology and Beefy prepares for holy orders, all the while sharing amorous adventures high and low, until their university careers come to an abrupt and decidedly unholy end. Written with trademark bravado and a healthy dose of sincerity, The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B is vintage Donleavy.

Have you read Balthazar? If so, are you interested in an adaptation?


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