February 15, 2014

He would have been the voice of Shrek and was in talks to play Fatty Arbuckle in a biopic and Ignatius J. Reilly in a film of "A Confederacy of Dunces."

But he died. Had he lived, Chris Farley would have turned 50 today.

By the way, why has there never been a film version of "A Confederacy of Dunces"? Is it cursed? Look at the list of actors around whom projects were attempted. In addition to Chris Farley, John Belushi, John Candy, and Divine. There was another failed project, built around Will Ferrell (in 2005). At least Ferrell lived. Steven Soderbergh, who co-wrote that adaptation, said: "I think it’s cursed. I’m not prone to superstition, but that project has got bad mojo on it."

15 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

That book was published after the author's death right? And it was his first and only book I think?

Ann Althouse said...

"A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel by American novelist John Kennedy Toole which appeared in 1980, eleven years after Toole's suicide. Published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy (who also contributed a foreword) and Toole's mother, the book became first a cult classic, then a mainstream success; it earned Toole a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, and is now considered a canonical work of modern literature of the Southern United States."

(From the link in the post.)

AJ Lynch said...

It is a great book.

t-man said...

He had another novel, "The Neon Bible."

I don't think ACOD would work as a movie. The main character, while hilarious, is also completely unlikeable.

Walker Percy's Introduction to the novel is a classic itself.

Zach said...

In addition to Chris Farley, John Belushi, John Candy, and Divine. There was another failed project, built around Will Ferrell (in 2005). At least Ferrell lived.

Chris Farley: morbidly obese
John Candy: morbidly obese
John Belushi: legendary drug problems
Divine: both

Maybe the problem is that "incredibly fat actor with an outsized personality who is famous enough to anchor a big movie" selects for people who are very likely to have heart attacks.

Brando said...

It's a great book--my personal favorite novel--but I'm not so sure it'd make a good movie. A lot of what made it fun to read wouldn't translate to the screen.

broomhandle said...

Liked it the first time I read it, disliked it the second time. Like so much hip writing from that time, it's self-consciously cute and hasn't aged well. Like Catch-22, I don't think it can be made into a watchable movie.

virgil xenophon said...

It also helps to have actually lived in New Orleans during that time, otherwise much is lost in the translation, as it were..

Craig said...

It would be like making a movie of Tristram Shandy.

Greg Hlatky said...

What! With its portrayal of gays as debauched, frivolous pseudo-sophisticates? The screenwriter, director and cast would be blackballed (but nicely and sensitively) for such an outrage.

Greg Hlatky said...

Actually the book shows the lack of a firm editorial hand and is way too discursive in places. With a good screenplay (retaining all the political incorrectness) and the right cast it could be better than the book.

Revenant said...

I never got the appeal of Chris Farley. Or Will Farrell either, for that matter.

John Candy, though -- shame he died so early.

TerriW said...

Aw, man ... I loved the Tristram Shandy movie.

Carl Pham said...

You can't make a movie like that today. The story is pure Mel Brooks farce. It has no point, no message, no uplifting subtext that could be made explicit in a sententious epilogue narrated by Morgan Freeman. It's just very, very funny. You would need a sense of humor to make the movie, and I don't think anyone in Hollywood has a sense of humor.

Mark said...

Chris Farley was far more like one of his obnoxious characters than is healthy or good to be around. That wasn't an act for the screen, he came off just like that quite a bit of his life.

A sad tale of addiction and desperate attempts at attention.