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Terrence Malick & ‘The Moviegoer’

Did you know this about the film director Terrence Malick? I did not know this until a reader pointed it out last night:

Next came a proposed adaptation of Walker Percy’s novel The Moviegoer, about a man in New Orleans who connects to movies more easily than he does to everyday life. Given that Julia Roberts and Tim Robbins were attached at one point in 1994, it seems fair to assume that Robbins was to play the title role. Projects from this time period apparently had a very high failure rate as it is, but once pre-production on The Thin Red Line began in earnest and The New World followed, Hurricane Katrina apparently dashed any hopes of this Louisiana-set film getting made: “I don’t think the New Orleans of the book exists anymore,” Malick said at an extremely rare question-and-answer session prior to the release of The New World in 2005. Unlike many other aborted projects, it seemed likely at one point that he would have served as both writer and director on The Moviegoer.

Terry! Come to the Walker Percy Weekend! I will pretend not to recognize you, and we can drink whiskey and talk about To The Wonder and the metaphysics of light in the Middle Ages, but you will not have to be too afraid of being bored to death by my pretentious self, because honestly, you can only get just so pretentious when your fingers smell of boiled crawfish.

How on earth would you make a movie out of The Moviegoer?

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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