Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ellis' Lunar Park: Optioned by Palm-Star


(image via informationleafblower)

Cinematical reports (link via Variety) that Brett Easton Ellis' laughably bad novel Luna Park -- which spawned a fake web site for the protagonist's movie star wife -- has been optioned by Palm-Star Entertainment, which, according to their website, "co-produces and co-finances independent films with budgets under $15 million." Astonishing. From Onion AV Club:

"There are some bravura passages in those early chapters: long descriptions of pre-teen bedrooms and private-school parent/ teacher conferences that document the peculiar stress of a modern childhood. Yet even when he makes himself the hero, Ellis has difficulty concocting a likeable lead. Though frequently funny, Bret Easton Ellis remains bad company.

"As for Lunar Park, it lurches from sharp satire to second-tier Stephen King�the latter most likely on purpose, since Ellis is excavating a personal literary past that includes an avowed pre-adolescent King fixation. He doesn't do 'pulse-pounding' well, though, and when he reaches for open sentimentality, he winds up looking like a dork."

Cruel, but fair. Our own review (August 24th, 6th item) was a little more bitchy by a whisker:

"Lunar Park could have been a fine book, but for some unknown reason, Ellis is obsessed with gore. He throws in some cheap haunted house gimmick which falls flat. Just as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho shocked -- shocked! -- the reader, so does the meta-Brett Easton Ellis, the author's alter ego, as he combats the forces of darkness in his haunted house. I can't even tell you how stupid it is. Ellis has a house haunted by a toy flying bat creature, a 'Terby' ('Y Bret' spelled backwards; don't ask). Was he smoking crack?"

From the Palm-Star press release:

"'We believed in Lunar Park so strongly that we put in a pre-emptive bid the very next day after it came to us', said Kevin Frakes, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Palm-Star Entertainment.

"'We were in a bit of a battle, but it was personal for our company and we went the extra mile to close the deal.' Palm-Star has been fielding interest from producers, directors and writers, but are taking their time in packaging the project.

"'Lunar Park is the most personal book I've written even if on the surface it reads like a thriller. It took a long time to complete and Palm-Star has known about the book from the beginning. And they witnessed the usual complaints, anxieties, and excitement that occur when you're completing a novel.' Concedes author Bret Easton Ellis. 'Now it's their turn to move through that process.'"

No word yet on who plays Terby. We nominate Paul Giamatti.

Palm-Star press release here.

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