…Graphic novels, that is! Okay, okay, so that wasn’t the best “plot twist” ever, but hey, I had to at least give it a try, right? After all, this is Fight Club we’re talking about here!
The point is that Palahniuk, author of the original novel which David Fincher famously adapted for screen in 1999, is actually working on a couple of sequels to his seminal tale. And it seems that he’s forgotten his very own first rule, as he’s been talking about it quite a bit.
Speaking to Hustler (yes, they actually do more than show off lady bits) via the Official Chuck Palahniuk Fan site, Palahniuk spilled the details for the follow-up, and what inspired him to write it.
“So much of FIGHT CLUB was a rant against fathers. At the time every man I knew was complaining about how little he’d learned from his father. Even my own father felt bitter and let down by his father. Rather than continue in that vein, I wanted to revist the protagonist once he himself had become a father. Not coincidentally, my parents are both dead now, and I think that will force my story and I accept more responsibility.”
Now you may have noticed him referring to “the protagonist” and not Jack, and that’s because contrary to popular belief, the central character played by Edward Norton in the movie is in fact never named. Yes, he utters those quote-worthy lines about how “I am Jack’s [insert body part/emotion here]”, but that’s never actually given as his name. And in the sequel, we’ll finally learn what his real name is. But not from him though, as this time around it’s his [14 YEAR OLD SPOILER ALERT] split personality, Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt in the movie), who will be taking the lead.
“The sequel will be told from the– at first– submerged perspective of Tyler Durden as he observes the day-to-day tedium of the narrator’s life. Because 20th Century-Fox created the convention of calling the protagonist Jack, I’m calling him Cornelius. He’s living a compromised life with a failing marriage, unsure about his passion for his wife. The typical midlife bullshit. Likewise, Marla is unsatisfied and dreams of accessing the wild man she’d once fallen in love with. She tampers with the small pharmacy of drugs that her husband needs to suppress Tyler, and– go figure– Tyler reemerges to terrorize their lives.”
That description, which sounds pretty good, makes me very intrigued to find out why Palahniuk went the graphic novel route for this. Having a story about a character but told from the perspective of a different character “living inside” him, is something that is far easier to pull off in a conventional novel.
And to add to the difficulty of pulling that off, there’s of course the added pressure of this being a sequel to a book/movie that is firmly ingrained in the modern zeitgeist. You would think that with all of that, Palahniuk would be a bit more stressed about delivering a sequel, but apparently, despite there being a little concern over the format, it’s not so bad.
“No, the sequel has been percolating in my mind for years. My only worry is about presenting it in the form of a graphic novel. The medium shapes the messages, and I’ll be relearning how to tell stories. My tendency is to hold the entire plot in my mind until I’m afraid of forgetting it. Once I start writing, I can’t stop. That feverish, ill-fed, exhausting stint of writing is the only part of the process I fear.”
Now of course, the question becomes: How long till a producer in Hollywood will get over his/her fear of adapting this story for the big screen? Because we all know it’s only a matter of time. “I am Jack’s incessant need to make money off established properties.”
Last Updated: November 29, 2013