So, famed director Gus Van Sant has been trying to get a movie made based on the life of John Callahan, the late Portland-based cartoonist, for years and years. At one point in the 1990s, even Robin Williams was attached to star at one point.
It’s easy to see why Callahan’s story attracted so many eyes from Hollywood — a heavy alcoholic since he was 12 years old, Callahan was forced to give up the sauce after being paralyzed in a horrible car accident, and he began to vent his frustrations into cartoons, which became pretty popular (think a black-hearted Far Side, if you will). Now, Van Sant finally had the Amazon capital and the stars — his To Die For collaborator Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, flanked by names like Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black — to make his movie, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot and the first footage from it dropped today in advance of its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this week.
How about that John Lennon track, huh?
Well, that’s what a good trailer does for a movie. We went from glancing at this in the Sundance program and going “Oh, god, what else is playing then?” (and given Van Sant’s most recent output, who wouldn’t have that reaction?) to being pretty stoked to see this one.
We’re only hoping that it can truly capture the dark humor at the heart of Callahan’s perspective on things, and stays clear of some of that typical biopic horseshit that transforms troubled guys like David Foster Wallace into, well, the David Foster Wallace™ that inspires young people to try and eat entire copies of Infinite Jest out of frustration. Still, with the talents present for this one, we’re pretty certain it won’t be like that. We hope.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot hits theaters on May 11.
Image via Amazon Studios.