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Daniel Clowes has always been a graphic novel writer that takes a hands-on interest and participation in the movie adaptations of his work. Not only did he write the screenplays for Ghost World and Art School Confidential, he's done it again on Wilson, too. It turns out that we have the legendary comic strip Peanuts to thank for Wilson's rise from paper to celluloid, because Daniel Clowes has now revealed that Charles M. Schulz's beloved collection was the original inspiration for his work. After being asked about the origins of Wilson, Daniel Clowes explained,
I had been reading a lot of old comic strip collections. Peanuts, things like that. I liked that when you're reading a whole collection of those it's just daily strips, day after day. And I thought, 'What if there was actually a hidden story behind those daily strips that once you read the whole book you go, 'Oh wait, there's this whole narrative I didn't even notice.' And that was how I started. I thought, 'I want to have a character that's very much a cartoon character.' A guy Wilson, who we don't know if that's his first or last name. Which is very cartoon character-ish. And have him go through this series of funny comic strips that then when you're done you go, 'Woah. That was a story and I didn't even notice.'
Daniel Clowes made this admission to me when I sat down with the graphic novelist and screenwriter to discuss the big-screen version of Wilson, which sees Woody Harrelson take the titular role. It has been a pretty meteoric rise for the graphic novel. After originally being published in 2010, the movie rights for Wilson were soon picked up by Academy Award winner Alexander Payne. Daniel Clowes made sure to sign a deal to write a script, but by 2014 Payne had dropped out. Fox Searchlight still persisted with Wilson, though, and The Skeleton Twins' Craig Johnson was ultimately hired to bring the character and world to life.
Wilson found the perfect actor in the shape of Woody Harrelson to do the character justice, too, while the impressive supporting cast for the film includes Laura Dern, Judy Greer, Cheryl Hines, Margo Martindale, Brett Gelman, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Isabella Amara. You can learn more about Wilson by taking a look at the interview, below.
Wilson is in theaters from March 24. If you'd like to take a look at all of the other lovely movies hitting the schedule in the future, take a look at our 2017 release schedule.