Harold Ramis and John Belushi. Scott Rudin, Steven Soderbergh, David Gordon Green and Will Ferrell. John Waters and Divine. John Candy. Chris Farley. Stephen Fry. Buck Henry. John Goodman. Throughout three decades, these men and others of various power and influence have applied (or at least attached) themselves to what was proven the most unadaptable literary property of the last half-century: John Kennedy Toole's searing comic masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces. And now, Zach Galifianakis, director James Bobin and screenwriter Phil Johnston reportedly have formed the triumvirate that will help make Dunces the most unadaptable literary property of the next half-century.
Vulture passes along word that Bobin (The Muppets, Flight of the Conchords) and Johnston (Cedar Rapids) are developing the adaptation with Rudin and Paramount, the latter of whom have seen more talent come and go through the project's revolving door than virtually any other unproduced film in a generation. Galifianakis would play Ignatius J. Reilly, the corpulent antihero of Toole's posthumous, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, whose exploits around New Orleans and in his home life with his mother (and the ongoing internal dialogue and wild local character tying it all together) have made for canonical reading over the years — even while succumbing to what many of its Hollywood pursuers have written off as a curse. Suicide, murder, overdoses, hurricanes and general studio ennui are among the obstacles to have faced Confederacy's leap to the big screen over the years — not least because Paramount execs likely hear the title and argue, "Didn't we make three of those with Michael Bay?"
Anyway, it bears repeating that despite everyone's best intentions and all those Louisiana tax incentives and the cautious optimism of Toole's devoted fan base, not only will this movie never get made, but there's not even a script yet. First things first! And when all else fails, consider Reilly's gold-plated lament as we move on to something... safer: "Apparently I lack some particular perversion which today's employer is seeking."