Celebrated US cartoonist John Callahan will be the subject of a new collaboration between Joaquin Phoenix and director Gus Van Sant, Variety has learned.
Marking their first joint venture since 1995’s To Die For, a crime caper that helped fire Phoenix into Hollywood’s big leagues, the long-gestating biopic currently bears the title Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot – a moniker derived from the artist’s autobiography – and will chronicle the Callahan’s tragic, yet remarkable journey warts and all.
Indulging in alcohol and drugs before turning 18, Callahan was left paralyzed following a drink-related car accident at 21, and would go on to become a fiercely controversial quadriplegic cartoonist, tackling themes of race and disability even at the expense of his readership. Throughout his career, Callahan’s button-pressing work was published in New Yorker, Penthouse and Playboy among others, before he later passed away in 2010.
After teetering on the brink of development for the better part of 30 years, Anonymous Content and Iconoclast Films appear ready to finally set the wheels in motion for their John Callahan pic. No word yet on when we can expect production to get underway, but the addition of Joaquin Phoenix and Gus Van Sant is exciting in and of itself, as it heralds the pair’s long-anticipated reunion.
It wasn’t for lacking of trying, of course; before turning to Matthew McConaughey, Sant had initially set sights on Phoenix for existential drama The Sea of Trees. Alas, a trip to Aokigahara never came to be, but there’s plenty of dramatic material to mine from Callahan’s life story.