In a Hollywood age oversaturated with book-to-movie (and now comic book-to-movie) adaptations, it’s not every day that a writer-artist can transform his or her own work into a feature film. Daniel Clowes got the opportunity with Wilson, based on the graphic novel he both penned and illustrated.
“If we just took the book and used that as a storyboard and filmed every page, it would probably be about a 43-minute movie,” Clowes says in EW’s exclusive vignette for Wilson. “So, I’m really taking that skeleton and expanding on it.”
Woody Harrelson, who portrays the titular middle-aged loner, describes the source material as “very cinematically done, just [in] the way Daniel draws and everything,” as the video compares the comic panels to scenes from the film. Laura Dern, playing Wilson’s ex-wife, Pippi, remarks, “Daniel Clowes adapted his own work, so it’s very close to the graphic novel.”
Directed by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins), the film centers on Wilson’s reunion with Pippi, his discovery of the daughter he never knew he had, and his unique way of forming a bond with her. Clowes earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the screenplay for 2001’s Ghost World, based on another of his comics.
Wilson is now playing in theaters. Watch the vignette above to learn more.