Confederacy of Dunces is going to be a movie.

IMDB says that the funniest novel ever written, A Confederacy of Dunces is going to made into a movie. Steven Soderbergh and Drew Barrymore are producing. Soderbergh cowrote the screenplay. Barrymore has reportedly been cast in the movie, but no word yet on who she’ll be playing. Philip Seymore Hoffman is rumored to be playing Ignatius.

So what do you think? Can a movie possibly be as rich, intelligent, and funny as the book? Is Hoffman a good choice for Ignatius? Who would you like to see in some of the other roles?

Pinch me, I’m dreaming. I love that book, and am confident that its verbal and visual humor will work just find in a movie.

I don’t know Philip Hoffman. I’d sort of been rooting for the actor who played Newman on Seinfeld, though he’s probably too short and looks anything but Irish-American. Not that ethnicity should matter, but I do like accuracy in these things.

Offhand, I can’t think of a better choice for Ignatius. I’m always skeptical about anybody’s ability to make a good movie out of a book I love, but the fact that Soderbergh is involved gives me hope.

I think that Hoffman has the ability to project the combination of intelligence and pathos that would be necessary for the part. I think Wayne knight (Newman) is funny, but he would be too broad (no pun intended) for the role.

Hoffman is also short, but unless you’re really anal, it won’t matter. The mother may be tougher to cast.

Pleeeeaaaase keep Barrymore behind the scenes! Who would she play, Myrna Minkoff? She would probably be OK as Darlene, but that’s it. This book was brought up at Thanksgiving dinner, and quoting and hilarity ensued. We did talk about a movie, but didn’t nail down specific casting.

I’ve never seen PSH do an unkempt character, and I’m not sure I can picture the gluttish, slobbish pig part of IJR.

I can see the possibility of the book being portrayed accurately on film, but it seems like a matter of fitting all that detail into two hours without leaving gaping holes or glossing over. The beauty of the novel is in the idiosyncratic details.

You want unkempt then go for Jack Black. Check him out in Dead Man Walking for some straight acting.

Have you seen him in Boogie Nights or Happiness?
don’t ask, I like Jack Black, but I think he might be a little too “hip” for Ignatius.

Ah! My valve is beginning to open up again.:smiley:

I hadn’t thought of him before javaman brought himup but I think Wayne Knight would be a terrific Ignatius. He’s done a lot of comedy but has some done good drama roles (Basic Instinct) too. PSH is good but he’d need to gain a lot of weight, and personally I think he’s a little young for the role. And Jack Black has never impressed me at all.

Perhaps Vincent d’Onofrio as IJR? Steve Buscemi would make a perfect Patrolman Mancuso. How about Janeane Garafolo as Myrna? Giancarlo Esposito or Don Cheadle as the barback character (sorry, his name escapes me). Seymour Cassell as Mr. Levy, Angie Dickinson as Mrs L. Maybe Brenda Blythen as Mrs. Reilly?

A lot of people here seem to be emphasizing the straight-dramatic character of the novel, and of IJR, but I see him as mainly a comic figure. Beyond whatever dramatic experience is usual for a competent comic actor, I wouldn’t think any more should be needed. (But I know little of these things, I admit.)

The Newman character always reminded me very much of IJR. He always seemed a little more eloquent and imaginative than the other Seinfeld characters. He seemed the sort of person who went to college and did well, but could never settle into the usual college-graduate type of job, and became a mailman. Not, of course, exactly the same as IJR, but in some ways parallel. Some of Newman’s on-the-job antics are reminiscent of the hilarious Levy Pants episode.

The thing with IJR is that he takes himself very seriously, though to an onlooker he’s a comic figure. I just can’t quite picture Newman carrying off the bombastic attitude. I guess I’m also prejudiced because he looks nothing like the IJR I pictured while reading the book. The guy from Flatliners someone mentioned in another thread is much closer to who I have pictured, YMMV.

Oliver Platt is the guy you’re thinking of. He’s a good actor, good comic timing, I could see it.

I think d’Onofrio would do ok too, but personally I’m still in love with the PSH idea.

Jehova The black floor sweeper character is named Jones. He is absolutely crucial as far as I am concerned. Jones is really the only sane character in the book, and he has some of the funniest lines. I can see Cheadle. I used to picture Richard Pryor years ago but that’s impossible now. I would suggest Delroy Lindo, Samuel L. Jackson, or possibly Jamie Foxx. I hope they don’t get too carried away and cast somebody like Chris Rock or Chris Tucker just to be loud and bombastic.

What about the gay guy, Dorian Green? Scott Thompson? Nathan Lane?

Oh, and how about Carol Burnett as Miss Trixie?

Jones, yes. Thank you Diogenes.
As far as Dorian, however, isn’t he a much younger person (late teens, early 20’s) than Thompson or Lane could even hope to play? Perhaps a breakthrough role for an unknown.
BTW Ruth Gordon (RIP) would have been perfect for Miss Trixie, no?

Ruth Gordon, yeah, she would have been great. :slight_smile:

You’re probably right about Thompson and Lane in regards to Dorian Green. It would be a juicy part, though, whoever was to get it.

For some reason, I had always hoped they’d cast an unknown if they ever made a movie. At least in part, I guess it’s because Ignatius is such a unique character, and I didn’t want anything to detract from the believability of the experience (“Oh, look. There’s Johnny Depp buried inside of 85 pounds of ‘fake fat’ latex prosthestics”).

I can’t think of anyone who would be perfect for the role. IMO.

I guess I can sort of see Wayne Knight in the part, but isn’t he too old? IJR is supposed to be 30 or so, isn’t he?

Philip Seymour Hoffman would be perfect for the role if they are going for a complexly layered version of the story - he is one of the best actors working today, and since IJR is sort of the equivalent of a great character role focused on as the lead role, PSH is perfect, given his roles in PT Andersen, David Mamet and other movies. Even his role as the dude tornado chaser in Twister (“Oh they’ll rue the day - maximue rue-age will occur!”) shows that he can play broad comedy, but his other roles in Happiness and Boogie Nights show he can do pathos, too…

[hijack] I love this book - I have a first edition of this book; NOT easy to come by…I can hardly wait and hope this movie gives the book that much more exposure so people see it for what it is - truly a classic American novel [/hijack]

Well, Newman probably couldn’t, but I think Wayne Knight could, if he weren’t physically wrong for the part. It would be interesting to know if he was approached for the role. The Newman character isn’t quite so asocial and negative as IJR is.

One of my favorite IJR quotes was where he says while the cycle of Fortune spins ever downward, he finds himself at the moment in a temporary up cycle…but smaller downward cycles within the up cycle are possi ble.