The Nonexistent Kavalier & Clay Film

This is almost heartbreaking to watch — because the film it’s promoting (by director and cinematographer Jamie Caliri, of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) hasn’t (yet) been made.

(And if you haven’t read Kavalier & Clay yet, well, now you’ve got one more reason to do so.)

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  1. THERE’S GOING TO BE A MOVIE?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!??!


  2. I’ve been hearing about this movie for years. It’s one of my favorite books…. I am anxiously awaiting and anxious about the actuality at the same time.

    I knew you had good taste!

  3. I never knew they made promos before the movie itself. Situations like this could certainly make film-makers hesitate with superstitiousness in the future.

  4. whaddayamean: Er, you did get the “(yet)” part, right? Apparently it’s still “in development,” which as I understand it means they don’t even have a script or a release date, nothing.

    As I understand it, the director of this clip actually specializes in animation, and was hired by (the producer(s)?) to “explore animation concepts” for the film. On a lark, he decided to shoot an actual scene from the book which included both live action and animation. “It was a fun surprise for the producers,” he says.

    Wikipedia says the whole thing is in development limbo as of 2006-07, although MC himself worked on multiple versions of the script for mega-producer Scott Rudin.

    Chabon added that “whether [this project] will move at last … into really-truly pre-production, with a budget and cast and everything, will be decided on or around 12 July 2006.” In August 2006, however, it was reported that the film had “not been greenlit”. In April 2007, Chabon added that the project “just completely went south for studio-politics kinds of reasons that I’m not privy to…. Right now, as far as I know, there’s not a lot going on.”

    Sorry for getting your hopes up. It’s not “No.” Just… “No, as far as anybody knows.”

  5. a/b: Have you read anything else of Chabon’s? I haven’t read all or even most of it, but both K&C and Yiddish Policemen’s Union are on my best-books list.

    If I’d read more, Chabon would probably be over there on the right in the “Pantheon” list.

  6. Squirrel: Sometimes, from the outside at least, it seems that the movie industry is agoraphobic — literally so: afraid of the marketplace. They flirt with great ideas all the time but if anything tilts them even slightly towards reluctance, they break into panicky flight. No matter how much time and energy they’ve invested.

    As I mentioned in a comment above, Chabon himself worked on the screenplay, apparently quite patiently, through several revisions — even before the book was actually published. I imagine many authors in his shoes must have been tremendously excited at first. But then, as the months and years rolled on, he had to have thought Y’know? The hell with it. I’ve got too much ELSE I want to write. I can’t say I’d turn down a Hollywood offer — I wouldn’t — but the odds are so long, I’d have to take it with even less than a single grain of salt.

  7. Must. read. that. book.

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