Bright Lights, Big City, Some Interest

bright-lights-big-cityHollywood ain’t done with Bright Lights, Big City. In 1984, Jay McInerney‘s novel blew the lid off high-flying yuppie excess in a more digestible form than Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities. Michael J. Fox and Keifer Sutherland starred in the 1988 film version, with Family Ties’ Alex Keaton demonstrating that coked burn-outs were “hard to care much about” (Time Out). But Variety says MGM think the time is right to revive the tale, and have hired The O.C.‘s creator Josh Schwartz to direct and start chopping out lines … Headlines, that is!

Fox’s twentysomething magazine fact-checker is discovered in the middle of a desultory odyssey through controlled substances and New York nightlife. He’s in the company of Tad, a guide through the nether regions of Gotham depravity. Fox appears to be grinding his axe because his novel isn’t going anywhere and his wife left him for a male model. But it emerges that what this wasted wastrel really needs is a mother’s love. The soundtrack includes Prince, Bryan Ferry, Donald Fagen and perhaps the first use of New Order’s “True Faith” in conjunction with an ’80s club scene. McInerney’s On the Tiles also inspired a blizzard of similar tomes that culminated in his friend Bret Easton EllisAmerican Psycho.

There are so many directions that Schwartz could take this. On the one hand, it could be a cautionary tale that links the 1980s up with the financial free-for-all of the first part of the 21st century. On the other, Schwartz might dig into his experience producing Gossip Girl to provide yet another contemporary chronicle of the beautiful, empty and intoxicated. Real fall of Rome stuff, y’know? He tells Variety that he doesn’t know which is the best approach, but hails the author: “Jay created a world that is really seductive and then deconstructed it in a way that is both funny and emotional.” McInerney recently appeared on Gossip Girl as one of Dan’s mentors.

Is now the right time for a BLBC remake? How could the first film be improved? And do you think could fill Fox and Sutherland’s penny loafers? (You can take our suggestion of Jim Sturgess and run with it.)


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One Response to “Bright Lights, Big City, Some Interest”

  1. X-Men Go Generation Y « SquallyShowers Says:

    […] will instead be some younger and more toothsome mutants, acting under the aegis of O.C. creator Josh Schwartz. As JoBlo’s Mike Sampson notes, the conceit necessitates a little historical detail. Based on […]

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