28 September 2005

Goldman Throws a MONKEY WRENCH into Hardwicke's GANG

Hey guys, it's Donnie...The name William Goldman might not leap off the screen at you. At best, he probably elicits a reaction of "The name sounds kinda familiar..." Let me assure you, however, that most of you are probably very familiar with his work, and if you aren't you should be. Princess Bride, the nothing-short-of-brilliant All The President's Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Misery. The man is pretty much a legend. I'm willing to forget his recent work on Hearts in Atlantis and Dreamcatcher, because, hey, maybe he just can't wrap his head properly around Stephen King's work. I don't know.

Either way, I have high hopes for his future, as he has just been brought on board to punch up the latest draft of The Monkey Wrench Gang (not to be confused with The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang) the next film on the directorial plate of one Catherine Hardwicke, whose recent Lords of Dogtown was on my Top Ten of 2005 up until this past weekend, when it was forced out by A History of Violence and Thumbsucker.

The story is based on the book by Edward Abbey. Here's what Amazon says about the book:

The story centers on Vietnam veteran George Washington Hayduke III, who returns to the desert to find his beloved canyons and rivers threatened by industrial development. On a rafting trip down the Colorado River, Hayduke joins forces with feminist saboteur Bonnie Abbzug, wilderness guide Seldom Seen Smith, and billboard torcher Doc Sarvis, M.D., and together they wander off to wage war on the big yellow machines, on dam builders and road builders and strip miners. As they do, his characters voice Abbey's concerns about wilderness preservation ("Hell of a place to lose a cow," Smith thinks to himself while roaming through the canyonlands of southern Utah. "Hell of a place to lose your heart. Hell of a place... to lose. Period"). Moving from one improbable situation to the next, packing more adventure into the space of a few weeks than most real people do in a lifetime, the motley gang puts fear into the hearts of their enemies, laughing all the while.

Goldman was brought on to give the story a more sweeping, mythic feel, so here's hoping he return to his former greatness and deliver something really special for Hardwicke...


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