Payne rumoured to bring Clowes comic to the screen

Fox Searchlight has acquired the film rights to Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel Wilson. According to Deadline, Alexander Payne is in talks to direct.
Clowes is best known for the graphic novel Ghost World, which he helped adapt for the screen with director Terry Zwigoff in 2001. He also penned the less successful Art School Confidential, which Zwigoff similarly directed in 2006.

Payne seems a brilliant choice to work with Clowes, given his experience in directing extremely dry comedies such as Election, Sideways and About Schmidt.

Wilson is a highly “opinionated middle-aged loner who loves his dog and maybe nobody else”. When Wilson’s father dies he sets off on a journey for human connection, which leads him to his ex wife. His initial desire to resurrect their relationships instead brings him a teenage daughter he never knew he had. Born and adopted after the marriage broke down, Wilson is determined to stage a family reunion with his wife and newly discovered daughter.

It doesn’t exactly sound like a barrel of laughs but if Clowes’ previous work is anything to go by, expect great things. The casting will be the key, with Paul Giamatti already being touted as the perfect Wilson. Is it too much to hope for the always amazing Catherine Keener to star as Wilson’s ex-wife? We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.

Discuss: What are your thoughts on Clowes’ cornucopia of complex comic characters?

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