In even more novel adaptation news, Variety is reporting that Josh Schwartz – the co-creator of “Chuck” and “Gossip Girl” – is going to be taking the writing duties and the director’s chair for a new adaptation of the 1984 Jay McInerney novel “Bright Lights, Big City.” It’s a book about 1980s wealth, cocaine use – and it’s one of the only novels to successfully use second person narrative.
The story focuses on an unnamed narrator who is living in New York City and dealing with losing his model girlfriend, attacking his own system with drugs and competing with the draw of that debilitating decadence that destroyed so many people at the time.
There are going to be some comparisons drawn to Bret Easton Ellis’s work because of the time-period, the cocaine, and the theme of empty, shiny things alluring people with false promises. However, McInerney’s novel is a bit less stark than the all-encompassing shitshow that Ellis’s stuff is usually about, so it has a better balance.
With Josh Schwartz writing and directing, it’ll be interesting to see if he brings the candy-coated version of New York City life to the screen or if he steps out of his wheelhouse a little bit to grow a darker sensibility. After all, he won’t have to deal with the weight of network or cable television standards.
The novel was adapted for screen once before for a flick starring Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland and Phoebe Cates. I just so happen to have found the original trailer for it from all the way back in 1987:
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