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While it’s impossible to find an iota of humor in the school shootings that occasionally occur here in the U.S., novels and films have a way of adding levity and darkly comedic sensibilities to any form of subject matter one can think of. Case in point: DBC Pierre’s 2003 debut novel Vernon God Little is a satirical Man Booker Prize-winning look at the aftermath of a high school massacre, and was previously announced as the next film from the often-challenging filmmaker Werner Herzog. Three of the film’s leads are nearly locked in place, as comedian Russell Brand, Pretty Little Liars actress Sasha Pieterse and Austin Abrams of MTV’s The Inbetweeners are all in talks to join the cast. I can’t wait to hear the outspoken Brand’s promotional campaign for this one.
Set in Martirio, Texas, Vernon God Little centers on the titular character and best friend Jesus Navarro, who turns from bullied outcast into juvenile murderer as he kills six of his classmates before taking his own life in a school shooting. Because he is Jesus’ only friend, Little is soon suspected to have played a part in the heinous crime, and a string of unfortunate occurrences do nothing to help his case. The story then pokes and prods at the U.S. legal system and our population’s obsession with violence and the mildly ironic championing of the most notorious criminals. There are also a few more pitch black plot points that may or may not end up making it to the final feature, the script for which is being written by Perfume: The Story of a Murderer scribe Andrew Birkin.
According to The Wrap, Abrams will star as the tragedy-struck teenager Little, while Pieterse will play the self-obsessed girl of Little’s dreams. Brand will take on the role of Lally, a reporter whose smile is always worth more than his word, and one who will do anything to put himself in front of the story.
While his recent film career has been limited to starring in Diablo Cody’s directorial debut Paradise, the incredibly pointed comic made a handful of headlines at the end of last year for blasting MSNBC on the air and for the most memorable acceptance speech of all time at the GQ Awards show, which he was kicked out of shortly after his Oracle Award thank yous. Check it out below.
Pieterse, who has been one of the Pretty Little Liars leads since it premiered in 2010, starred in the recently released comedy G.B.F. for Darren Stein and has a notable role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming stoner detective drama Inherent Vice. Abrams, who had bit roles in last year’s Gangster Squad and Kings of Summer, will be starring in another teen tragedy drama, Michael Cohn’s Sacrifice, as well as Kyle Wilamowski’s prank-gone-wrong drama Grass Stains.
While no specific dates for Vernon God Little are given, Herzog is expected to go into pre-production mode for it once he has wrapped shooting for his upcoming Gertrude Bell biopic Queen of the Desert.