Posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 by Russ Fischer
If there’s a writer who is perfect to make more out of a music and Midwest memoir than the original text offers, it might be Craig Finn, singer and lyricist for The Hold Steady. Finn and longtime The Late Show with David Letterman writer Tom Ruprecht have picked up the rights to Fargo Rock City, the coming of age chronicle by music-geek author Chuck Klosterman.
The novel doesn’t actually take place in Fargo, and it’s not about a band. Instead, it is a chronicle of Klosterman’s high school youth, where he banded together with friends over a love of rock and metal, with a special fondness for the hair metal bands of the time. THR reports on the deal and says that the film, which is currently being first-drafted by Finn and Ruprecht, will focus on a couple of specific points in the book, like the episode in which an ATM unexpectedly spewed loads of extra money at Klosterman.
“Seventeen or eighteen is the perfect age for characters in a movie like this, because it’s at that age that you have drivers licenses and a certain amount of independence, but you’re still young enough that you can totally make terrible decisions,” says Finn. “And you’re still young enough that you can have a two-hour argument over whether Motley Crue would beat Guns ‘N Roses in a fight.”
Finn is the ingredient here that gives me hope. I’m not a big fan of Klosterman’s work, but Finn is also a rock-obsessed guy from the Midwest, and he’s got an uncanny ability to write characters and situations with just a few lines. Hearing Finn’s lyrics I get an immediate sense of the people he’s talking about; he’s more able to create whole characters in just a few lines than many writers are in pages. Ideal for a lyricist, yes, and hopefully the same economy will serve him well with respect to the screenplay.
This is the second Klosterman adaptation to be announced in a year. Eleven months ago we heard that Killing Yourself to Live, the author’s road-trip memoir based on his Spin Magazine article of the same name, was being adapted. I don’t know where that one stands now.