Films based on a few different Irvine Welsh novels have been in development in the decade-plus since the adaptation of his debut novel Trainspotting became a trans-Atlantic hit. One of those getting the film treatment has been Filth, a book about “an evil Edinburgh cop,” for which the author has been acting as producer.

Jon S. Baird (director of British film Cass) will direct, and it turns out that the core cast is going to be more than up to the challenge of dealing with Welsh’s notoriously raucous material. James McAvoy, Jamie Bell and Alan Cumming are the names we have right now, and the idea of seeing McAvoy play a cop messed-up enough to rival Harvey Keitel’s classic Bad Lieutenant sounds pretty great.

Irvine Welsh told The Playlist, “That’s going to be the main cast… James is going to be main character, Jamie is going to be Lennox his kind of sidekick and Alan is going to be Toal, his boss.”

Here’s a synopsis of the novel, which introduces elements such as the tapeworm that inhabits the protagonist’s gut. Yep. Praying that critter makes its way into the film.

Talk about truth in advertising! Irvine Welsh’s novel about an evil Edinburgh cop is filthy enough to please the most crud-craving fans of his blockbuster debut, Trainspotting. Our hero, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, is a cross between Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant and John Belushi in Animal House. His task is to nab a killer who has brained the son of the Ghanaian ambassador, but bigoted Bruce is more urgently concerned with coercing sex from teenage Ecstasy dealers, planning vice tours of Amsterdam, and mulling over his lurid love life. He’s also got a tapeworm, whose monologue is printed right down the middle of many pages. Here’s one of this unusually articulate parasite’s realizations: “My problem is that I seem to have quite a simple biological structure with no mechanism for the transference of all my grand and noble thoughts into fine deeds.”

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