Russell Brand’s transition to movie star hasn’t gone smoothly, with the likes of Get Him To The Greek and Arthur finding little success at the box office. However now he’s having another crack, and it’s with a director you might not have expected him to work with, Werner Herzog.
TheWrap reports Brand, Sasha Pieterse and young actor Austin Abrams (The InBetweeners) are all in talks for major roles in Herzog’s adaptation of DBC Pierre’s Booker Prize winning novel, Vernon God Little.
The Texas-set novel follows the titular teenager, who is the chief focus of scorn in a horrendous high school shooting that’s left 17 dead, including Vernon’s best friend, Jesus Navarro.
It was Jesus who was the killer, but as his final act was suicide, the mourning town needs someone to blame and so Vernon becomes the target. Fearing he’ll be roped in as an accomplice to this heinous act, Vernon hightails it to Mexico, where he hopes to find salvation on the beach in a cabin he once saw in a movie. But as he dashes across the border, the police and voracious TV news crews are on his tail.
With the book having a tone that’s described as satirical and as critical of a materialism obsessed America as it is the violent acts it believes that spawns, it’s been a tricky prospect to turn that into a film. However German-born Herzog has never been one to shy away from a tough challenge.
Abrams would play the title character, with Pieterse as the girl of Vernon’s dreams, and Brand as ‘a charming by manipulative reporter’. Andrew Birkin (Perfume) is on screenplay duties.