To be horrendously reductive, DBC Pierre‘s Vernon God Little was the last decade’s other popular, well-feted book about a high school massacre alongside We Need to Talk ABout Kevin. It has been adapted into a screenplay by my sometime neighbour Andrew Birkin, brother to Jane and screenwriter of Omen III, Joan of Arc and Perfume, writer-director of The Cement Garden.
Better than that, Werner Herzog has come on board to direct. It’s a funny book, in a bleak way, and he’s a funny man, after a similar fashion. He’s also great at capturing an America we don’t normally see on screen. Fantastic choice of director for this film, and indeed, a fantastic choice of film for this director.
Here’s an official blurb for the novel from Good Reads.
The surprise winner of the 2003 Man Booker Prize, DBC Pierre’s debut novel, Vernon God Little, makes few apologies in its darkly comedic portrait of Martirio, Texas, a town reeling in the aftermath of a horrific school shooting.
Fifteen-year-old Vernon Little narrates the first-person story with a cynical twang and a four-letter barb for each of his diet-obsessed townsfolk. His mother, endlessly awaiting the delivery of a new refrigerator, seems to exist only to twist an emotional knife in his back; her friend, Palmyra, structures her life around the next meal at the Bar-B-Chew Barn; officer Vaine Gurie has Vernon convicted of the crime before she’s begun the investigation; reporter Eulalio Ledesma hovers between a comforting father-figure and a sadistic Bond villain; and Jesus, his best friend in the world, is dead–a victim of the killings.
As his life explodes before him, Vernon flees his home in pursuit of a tropical fantasy: a cabin on a beach in Mexico he once saw in the movie Against All Odds. But the police–and TV crews–are in hot pursuit.
Here’s hoping they clear the rights to use Against All Odds on screen in the movie.