While we recognize Joaquin Phoenix as one of the finest actors working today (although he sadly had zero movies in 2016), his breakout role came more than two decades ago in To Die For. The controversial film was directed by Gus Van Sant, who knows a thing or two about helping to make stars (hello Ben Affleck and Matt Damon), but they haven't worked together since. Well that may finally change on a project that has been in the works for a long time.
Phoenix and Van Sant are eyeing a reunion for Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, a biopic on quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan. An alcoholic, Callahan was paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 21 while bar hopping with a friend. He went on to focus his energies on cartooning, exploring themes many found to be dark and macabre, courting a ton of controversy in the process. Robin Williams had been set to play Callahan in a prior version of the project before it fell through.
Here's a synopsis of Callahan's autobiography from which the film will draw:
Is it possible to find humor — corrosive, taboo-shattering, laugh-till-you-cry humor — in the story of a 38-year-old- cartoonist who’s both a quadriplegic and a recovering alcoholic? The answer is yes, if the cartoonist is John Callahan — whose infamous work has graced the pages of Omni, Penthouse, and The New Yorker — and if he’s telling it in his own words and pictures. But Callahan’s uncensored account of his troubled — and sometimes impossible — life is also genuinely inspiring. Without self-pity or self-righteousness, this liberating book tells us how a quadriplegic with a healthy libido has sex, what it’s like to live in the exitless maze of the welfare system, where a cartoonist finds his comedy, and how a man with no reason to believe in anything discovers his own brand of faith.
So maybe a little bit The Sessions, a little bit My Left Foot? This appears to be very early on as there is no writer or distributor yet, but the combination of Phoenix and Van Sant is enticing enough that it will likely change soon. [Variety]