Harry Styles may have inadvertently raised the profile of author Richard Brautigan; now "The Favorite" director Yorgos Lanthimos and writer Tony McNamara are taking on gothic western "Hawkline Monster" together.
Tony McNamara is reuniting with Yorgos Lanthimos for "Hawkline Monster" after "Ad Astra" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" company New Regency acquired the rights in 2019.
The Australian screenwriter and playwright moved from Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for "The Favorite" to Hulu's regal satire "The Great", based on a stage show of his own devising about Russia's famous Empress, Catherine the Great.
The 10 episode comedy was released all in one go by Hulu last week and was extremely well received at review.
As the duo's previous work might suggest -- "The Lobster" and "Killing of a Sacred Deer" in parcticular -- we shouldn't expect this adaptation of "The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western" to conform to genre ideals.
That's fitting, given that Richard Brautigan's 1974 novel was less gothic or western than it was an example of magical realism, fabulism, and general West frontier weirdness.
In other words, expect the inexplicable.
In Brautigan's original story, two hitmen are hired to track down a monster which, they are told, is living in the ice caves beneath a remote house in the great plains of western-central USA. From there, it only gets more bizarre.
This is the third time that "The Hawkline Monster" has been the subject of page-to-screen conversion attempts. If New Regency's hiring is anything to go by, it could be just as high profile as the previous two.
Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson was been attached to the story not once but twice, for example.
First he was in the mix as a potential lead for 1970s and 80s director Hal Ashby ("Coming Home"), then Tim Burton temporarily resurrected the project with Clint Eastwood as Nicholson's co-star.
"The Hawkline Monster" would also be the first time that one of Brautigan's works has been turned into a feature-length film, though his influence has been cited by everyone from Haruki Murakami to Harry Styles.
The ex-One Direction singer named his recent single "Watermelon Sugar" after Brautigan's supremely absurd 1968 novel "In Watermelon Sugar", though not necessarily because of its content -- rather, because he glimpsed the book's cover nearby during a songwriting session.
As it turns out, both McNamara's "The Great" and Styles' "Watermelon Sugar" released on May 15, 2020. Magical coincidence or not?