If you missed my Jan. 6 feature detailing 11 films I can't wait to see in 2011, here's what I said about Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his own excellent novel:
Perks of Being a Wallflower : Talk about pressure: In 1999, author Stephen Chbosky published his only novel, Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is still hailed by some as the closest approximation to a modern-day Catcher in the Rye. (It’s also perennially banned in public schools, just like its progenitor.) He then spent the last decade faithfully trying to get it to the big screen, as it passed from desk to desk suffering untold indignities as it went. One movie producer told me years ago that it’s a project that brings tears to executives’ eyes, right before they beg off of it out of fear of screwing it up. Now, it seems it’s in its creator’s hands again and has a precious greenlight, thanks to John Malkovich’s Mr. Mudd production company, which also produced Ghost World and Juno. That’s good company, no matter what happens. (Nov. 4)
Now comes news that Summit Entertainment has acquired distribution rights to the movie, now starring Emma Watson (Hermione from Harry Potter) and is shooting this summer! Given the long, heartbreaking saga of bringing this thing to the screen, it's great to hear that it won't be a total uphill slog for the film. While Summit's not exactly the Oscar factory of a Sony Classics or a Fox Searchlight, they've done a fine job with the Twilight series and they also have Duncan Jones' Moon follow-up, Source Code, this year, which might suggest a more highbrow direction for the company. (A suggestion the company will immediately undercut in 2 weeks with their release of Drive Angry.)
Wallflower fans: You can officially breathe now.
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