Infinite Jest film adaptation

I have been hearing some details through various sources about an upcoming film adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Sam Jones, known for his documentary on the band Wilco, is attached to direct a script written by Keith Bunin. Jon Brion has evidently been tapped to do the score. I have my doubts that a feature-length film could capture what's great about the book, but we shall see. --SBC

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I just got my 10th anniversary edition in the mail today.

Ingen Angiven | Mon, 11/27/2006 - 2:22pm

I predict, sadly, however, that the movie will be horrible.

Ingen Angiven | Mon, 11/27/2006 - 2:22pm

with many novels, i can clearly imagine a movie producer thinking, "this would make a great film!"

i don't understand how anyone could read IJ and believe they could do it justice. that takes some real ego.

liam | Mon, 11/27/2006 - 6:25pm

Lazymonk told me about a stage production of it that he once saw (this is, like, so second hand) done up by a dude who now DJs as Kid Kameleon (and does a fine job of it as well: You said it was good, right LM? He said it didn't try to tackle the whole novel, just the first part... right LM?

Jesse | Mon, 11/27/2006 - 7:14pm

Yeah, LazyMonk told me that story as well. Some college production which only focused on the tennis academy and either the act break or the finale came at the end of the Eschaton game when thousands of tennis balls fell from the ceiling.

By the way, how surprised was I when recently reading the Illuminatus Trilogy! to discover that the word Eschaton doesn't come from Infinite Jest. Who knew?

I'm stupid.

Ingen Angiven | Mon, 11/27/2006 - 7:51pm

I can't imagine it being good, despite the respect I might have for anyone involved. As anyone who's read IJ knows, the better part of the enjoyment of the book comes from the way in which the story is told. Like the film adaptation of 'The Virgin Suicides,' it's hard to fathom this being done faithfully, or appropriately, on film.

Jim | Tue, 11/28/2006 - 7:45pm

Ingen pretty much described Matt Earp's production correctly. I remember it being quite good (although this was 5 years ago). As Ingen said, it focused purely on the Tennis Academy, Mario being portrayed via a large two person puppet, with Madame Psychosis "narrating" through her radio show.

crazymonk | Wed, 11/29/2006 - 7:17pm

[...] A list of the most unfilmable novels. I’d add in Infinite Jest (despite the upcoming attempt) and Martin Amis’s Time’s Arrow. [...]


I'm so happy someone remembers Standing Witness (the name of the play). CrazyMonk, you were there? Would I know you under a different name?

What you get for googling your own name (although you're one of the very few to connection KK and ME, at least that google finds)

Matt Earp | Sun, 02/04/2007 - 11:21pm

I have a feeling this won't be the first attempt to turn IJ into a movie (unless it's miraculously faithful), hell we'll probably see a few attempts in the next couple decades. I personally think the best format would be a year-long mini-series on Showtime or something, 25 or 30 hours long, as opposed to one 3-hour-long movie. Any single filmed or live production that tries to capture the whole book is going to fail. Kudos to Matt Earp et. al. for realizing that and tackling just one aspect, I would love to see that play man! Shit, considering the myriad subplots and cinematic scenes, there are probably a hundred DISTINCT movie/play seeds in IJ.

Paul C. | Fri, 07/11/2008 - 11:49am

this thing is screenplayable.
I can easyly imagine a crazy good film made
out of Jest, 2 hours max.
I can, you can't.

Philippe st-laurent lévesque | Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:26pm