Rarely will a director and a star spend two decades between drinks on projects together. But that appears to be the case with Gus Van Sant and Joaquin Phoenix. The pair were the leading figures for 1995's To Die For, giving the 42-year old a major break in his career 21 years ago. And now they will reunite to tell the story of the late cartoonist John Callahan.
The title Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is an adaptation of Callahan's memoirs as Iconoclast Films puts the production team together after a long time in the making. With Steve Golin also on board as a producer, the journey of this quadriplegic cartoonist's life and times has been mooted for a motion picture as it finally comes to pass with Van Sant and Phoenix.
Robin Williams Wanted To Make The Movie Of His Friend
The late comedian Robin Williams knew Callahan and loved his work, so much so he penned the introduction to another of his books called Will the Real John Callahan Please Stand Up? Yet he wanted to be the one to front Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot and tell the story of a man who overcame remarkable odds as it was put on and off with a set up at Columbia already earmarked.
Callahan would maintain an incredible sense of humor and talent amid a life of tragedy. Becoming an alcoholic at the age of 12 prior to being a drug abuser, a car accident turned him into a quadriplegic where he learned to use his hands and shape his craft as a cartoonist. His passing in 2010 has giving a sense of urgency for the biopic.
95 Flick Gave Joaquin An Opportunity With Kidman
Part comedy, part drama, part thriller - 1995's To Die For was the first time Van Sant and Phoenix worked together alongside Australian Nicole Kidman when the actress was arguably at her peak career moment. Only just making a profit off their $20m budget, the Columbia Pictures movie was based off the Joyce Maynard novel and managed to win over the majority of critics.
This was the springboard for Phoenix to go onto bigger and better things, starring in Gladiator, Signs and Walk the Line to establish himself as one of the best dramatic actors of his generation. Despite an odd turn via I'm Still Here, Joaquin was identified by Van Sant as the man to tackle the challenge that has been in the works for years.