Werner Herzog To Direct Texas-Set Coming-of-Age Drama

By Kristy Puchko 2012-10-22 11:51:24discussion comments
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Frequently leaping from narrative to documentary films and back again, German writer-director Werner Herzog is a diverse and prolific filmmaker with more than 60 projects to his credit. However, his best known works—from the troubling doc Grizzly Man, to the Vietnam War drama Rescue Dawn, to the extravagant biopic Fitzcarraldo—all share a dark streak along with a male protagonist who possesses an incredible will, for better or worse. All this makes Herzog's newly minted commitment to helm an adaptation of Pierre's novel Vernon God Little, seem a perfect fit.

The novel centers on the titular Texan teenager, who is the chief suspect in a horrendous high school shooting that's left 17 dead, including Vernon's best friend, Jesus Navarro. While Jesus was the killer, his final act was suicide, leaving an enraged and mourning town to focus all their pain and blood lust on Vernon. Fearing he'll be roped in as an accomplice to this heinous act, Vernon hightails it to Mexico, where he hopes to find salvation on the beach in a cabin he once saw in a movie. But as he dashes across the border, the police and voracious TV news crews are on his tail.

Despite its bleak subject matter, the novel Vernon God Little is described as satire that pokes fun at the America's violence and materialism-obsessed culture while skewering the media. Variety reports Andrew Birkin, who adapted the Patrick Süskind's wildly yet wondrously depraved novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer into a feature, has written the screenplay that Herzog will helm. While Herzog films are generally intriguing, he's not typically known for comedy. So, it should be especially interesting to see how Vernon God Little--with all its taboo and dark humor—will turn out.

If you want to see some of Herzog's work even sooner, we're all in for a big surprise this December, with Herzog playing the main villain in Jack Reacher, the Tom Cruise action film set for release December 21.
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