In addition to their many literary charms, the novels of Jonathan Lethem have an unusual superpower: they resist cinematic adaptations with great vigor. Ironic, given the heavy cinematic awareness and influences on his novels. Lethem’s latest, Chronic City, even opens with a scene in the offices of the Criterion Collection, and has some entertaining discussion of cinematic masterworks both real and imagined.

For ages, Ed Norton was promising to direct and star in a version of Motherless Brooklyn, as the tourettes-afflicted protagonist Lionel Essrog. There hasn’t been any publicly-announced movement on that one in ages, and I’m hoping it isn’t dead. And Maria Full of Grace director Joshua Marston is reportedly adapting Fortress of Solitude, but that one has been quiet for a while, too.

Now Gabe and Alan Polsky, the producers behind Werner Herzog’s recent Bad Lieutenant, have optioned Lethem’s first novel, Gun, With Occasional Music. Read More »