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The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?

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Could it actually be true? Are Doc Sarvis, Bonnie Abbzug, George Washington Hayduke III, and Seldom Seen and their monkey-wrenching exploits in the Southwest really coming to the big screen?

Cast from the imagination of the late Ed Abbey, there long has been talk and rumors of The Monkey Wrench Gang making its way from printed word to wide-screen film. But now the planets seem to be in alignment that Doc, Bonnie, Hayduke, and Seldom Seen really are on their way to high-def.

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Abbey's 1975 eco-warrior classic, The Monkey Wrench Gang follows the exploits of four mismatched desert lovers who fight the good fight for the environment in southern Utah and northern Arizona against a backdrop that ranges in and around Canyonlands National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, Navajo National Monument, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Among their ideas in the fight for Mother Earth is the demolition of the Glen Canyon Dam, a deed that, in Seldom Seen's heart and soul, would deliver some serious environmental justice. "Good-bye and so long, Glen Canyon Dam. Welcome back Glen Canyon and the old Coloraddy River."

Here's how the story, which has been said to have launched the Earth First! movement, is capsulized on the dust jacket of the novel's 10th anniversary edition:

In the dank, steaming jungles of Vietnam, Hayduke longed for the grandeur, the light, and the freedom of the Southwestern desert. On his return to America he finds that someone or something is trying to change his desert into an industrial wasteland.

Meeting on a white-water float trip down the Colorado River, Hayduke, Doc, Bonnie and Seldom Seen discover a communal bond: a profound distrust of blind technology and a healthy hatred for the corporate interests whose lust for profit threatens the survival of the American Wilderness. They agree to become eco-raiders, declaring war on the strip miners, the clear-cutters, and the highway, dam and bridge builders. the result is chaos, conflict and comedy both high and low culminating in one of the greatest chase scenes in all literature.

What should make this a particularly fun production is the cast brought together by director Catherine Hardwicke. It's said to include Richard Dreyfuss, Jack Nicholson, John Goodman, Matthew McConaughey and Elizabeth Shue.

No word on its release date, other than sometime this year.

Comments

I don't know rg the lg.
"Hollywood" did a very fine adaptation of Abbey's book The Brave Cowboy, titled "Lonely Are the Brave" with Kirk Douglas at his best.
(Writer Dalton Trumbo adapted the book to screenplay)
Of course there was the TV movie adaptation of "Fire on the Mountain" with Buddy Ebsen and Ron Howard :-)
It will be interesting to see what Catherine Hardwicke can do with the actors.
Wonder who is adapting the book into the screenplay?


All the above ... and here's a thought ... maybe one of the BBC outfits should do the adaptation? They have areal knack for making literature reflect some of the reality of the printed page.

WollyHood? That is like thinking Wal-Mart is haute cuisine!


Ahh, the voice of reason! Yes, we are always disappointed or bemused by certain scenes that are in our minds that get portrayed by another’s point of view. It is inevitable. I am lost as to how you get Keanu Reeves in there though. I don't think he even knows how to use profanities! Drew?? She's too young. Let's just enjoy the book as we do and welcome the arrival of our favourite environmental heroes to the big screen. For better or worse.


Well, it's a movie that should be made, and I am excited, but let's prepare ourselves for the inevitable. No movie ever does complete justice to any book; we will all experience disappointment on some level when our favorite scenes in the story look TOTALLY different than how our minds formed them through Mr. Abbey's writing. Having said that, I look forward to the film maker's interpretation of Bonnie getting her way out of that swimming hole...

Bonnie is Drew Barrymore. I like Dennehey as Doc and I can work with McConaughey as Seldom. Hayduke is a tough one. I'm thinking more Keanu Reeves than Woody Harrelson, but in an ideal world we could timetravel the guy who played Luke Duke on the original Dukes Of Hazard TEE VEE show to the present day and put him in there.


Yo, Tee Vee! Take a chill pill and be still! What’s with the pessimism? Here are quality actors, an experienced director and what seems like at least a halfway decent idea. As the saying goes “You can’t stop progress, you can only slow it down.” Take into consideration the following… Give Hollywood at least a little credit for finding a damn fine novel to bring to the screen. If it worked for JAWS, tinkering the story a little can work for this. If “Cathy” can pull off a raw, non-over indulgent special affects budgeted script that doesn’t swoon for a sappy ending, this could come out well. Who will play Bonnie’s son Ruben? Hopefully not Macaulay Culkin because then you would have a point! If this is set after retirement, I think Clint Eastwood as Seldom Seen, Bill Murray as Hayduke, Redford can play Doc for sure and Cate Blanchett as our beautiful Bonnie. It’s a tough call as to the Bishop, Duvall or Goodman.


I am deeply sceptical. My opinion is that America (especially Hollywood) has done precious little favours to great American literary works over the years. I think Panama Red and Rudolf the Red have it right. This film sounds like a good idea, but in the end true justice will not be served, leaving this Bible for the Champions of the Underdog, the defenders of the American West from the slow, stranglehold of Walmart death that is gripping the last fabrics of the fragile quilt that is/was the American Dream, a scar that shall never heal. Much like our fabled Route 66, what seemed like a timeless, right of passage, TMWG has now entered the doldrums of Pop Culture Nostalgia. At least Robert Redford went horse back riding with Edward Abbey; he could probably give a little grit to a film that already sounds like its missing teeth. Cathy better get it right.


I love the idea as bishop love being Duvall and Woody being Seldom, But Bonnie Abzug should be Jessica Beil hands down Garofolo does not fit the attractive description that leads you to believe she could be both the hot assistant in doc's office and a troublemaker. I also like the idea if Depp playing the horseman but if you catch at the end of hayduke lives george asked the man his name and he says jack burns which is the main character in the brave cowboy another abbey novel in which he is described as a tall skinny man this could be important if hayduke lives becomes a sequel. I lovve these books can only assume it will be a flop based on the cast and director


no way...

GWH should be Jack Black. Get him in the gym and let the hair grow and he'd be PERF.


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