Just when I was beginning to lament that perhaps director Yorgos Lanthimos of award-magnet The Favourite was going to abandon his more aggressively weird history to focus on accolade gathering prestige pieces, news like this drifts like an angel’s feather from heaven to bless my morning.
Lathimos is in talks to be the latest director to attempt bringing Richard Brautigan’s 1974 novel The Hawkline Monster to life.
Originally planned for the screen from Hal Ashby with Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman attached to lead, the project floundered after Ashby refused Brautigan’s script. Tim Burton also took a stab at the project with Jack Nicholson still attached but replacing Hoffman with Clint Eastwood. That never panned out, either.
So here we are decades later with Lanthimos as the latest in line for the cursed (?) project. Will he succeed? God, I hope so. His upcoming shot at prestige TV sounds cool and all, but I really need more of Lanthimos’ brand of strange.
The Hawkline Monster is just the project for his absurd lens, as it’s very much a product of the 70’s. The tale follows two cowboys who are hanging in a brothel when fifteen-year-old Magic Child runs inside on the hunt for someone to help kill a monster living in the ice caves beneath Miss Hawkline’s house. It turns out Miss Hawkline’s father was a Harvard scientist working on something for the good of mankind called The Chemical (this is the 70’s, so it’s drugs). The crew all end up tripping like hell. A butler dies and shrinks into a little person. Miss Hawkline’s dad turns out to be an umbrella basket, and whiskey saves the day (as it always does). It’s a wild and trippy parody that I think Lanthimos could bring a magic touch to. This film had better get made this time.
It’ll be interesting to see who’s attached, if we’re all lucky enough to see The Hawkline Monster move forward, but I’m going to assume Colin Farrell will end up somewhere among the leading pair.