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