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I know, we’re not supposed to talk about Fight Club, but I think it’s ok to talk about Fight Club, as in the book, the movie and the anticipated sequel that author Chuck Palahniuk is penning. We learned this summer that author Chuck Palahniuk was writing a sequel to the 1996 novel Fight Club — a book that was later adapted into the film by David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. What’s more, instead of a traditional novel, the follow-up to the story will be a graphic novel series, which is probably what made this news a perfect fit for Comic-Con last summer. At that time, we heard a few details about the plot of the sequel, but Palahniuk has since shared more, which explain how Tyler Durden manages to make his return.
Back in July, we learned that the sequel to Fight Club would be a series of graphic novels that update the story a decade after the events of the first book, which told the story of a discontent man who meets Tyler Durden, a rebellious guy who pretty much turns the narrator's life upside down, including introducing him to Fight Club and eventually, even more destructive activities in the form of Operation Mayhem.
Beyond the changed format being used to tell the story for the sequel, we also have a change of voice this time around, as the narrator is no longer the Narrator. Instead, Tyler Durden will be telling the story, as he awaits his big comeback from inside the original narrator's brain. "Jack is oblivious, Marla is bored. Their marriage has run aground on the rocky coastline of middle-aged suburban boredom," Palahniuk told Movies.com. "It’s only when their little boy disappears, kidnapped by Tyler, that Jack is dragged back into the world of Mayhem."
So how does Tyler get out to kidnap his own (technically) kid? That’s where this update comes in, and things start to get a bit more spoilerly. ChuckPalahniuk.net shared an excerpt the author did with Hustler Magazine, which points the finger at Marla — Marla. The big tourist. — as the one to blame for letting Tyler loose. It sounds like maybe she was trying to put the spice back in her marriage by loosening her husband’s grip on Tyler, and well… things don’t go so well.
The sequel will be told from the-- at first-- submerged perspective of Tyler Durden as he observes the day-to-day tedium of the narrator's life. Because 20th Century-Fox created the convention of calling the protagonist Jack, I'm calling him Cornelius. He's living a compromised life with a failing marriage, unsure about his passion for his wife. The typical midlife bullshit. Likewise, Marla is unsatisfied and dreams of accessing the wild man she'd once fallen in love with. She tampers with the small pharmacy of drugs that her husband needs to suppress Tyler, and-- go figure-- Tyler reemerges to terrorize their lives."
There’s a part of me that wants to avoid these little spoilers about the plot of the book, but then I consider that everything I’ve ever enjoyed about Palahniuk’s novels is less about the plot and more about the voice of his characters. The gritty, uncensored, almost uncomfortably candid narrative of many of his protagonists are a big part of what make his books stand out from the rest. It should be interesting to see how that translates to a graphic novel format.
Palahniuk had some interesting things to say about re-learning how to tell stories as he works on this sequel for a graphic novel series. Kyle Dowling, the reporter who interviewed Palahniuk for Hustler, posted the full interview on his site, and it’s well worth a read, but be warned, the link to the interview is Not Safe For Work (there are graphic images — the kind you might expect to see in Hustler), so I wouldn’t recommend clicking the "read the full interview" if you’re at the office or you have small kids lurking around your computer at the time.
From the sound of it, it seems the Fight Club sequel is still a work in progress, but hopefully we’ll hear an update soon that tells us when the first graphic novel will hit shelves. And then we can resume speculating whether or not this follow-up is bound for the big screen (and whether Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter would be up for reprising their roles.)