2. A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, BY JOHN KENNEDY TOOLE (1980)
Status: Not in development
A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the funniest novels that you will ever read. It’s filled with memorable characters and a plot that will certainly keep you engrossed; unfortunately, Hollywood always seems to fail at adapting it. Harold Ramis was close, but John Belushi’s death sidetracked the project; David Gordon Green was closer, but Paramount dragged its feet for too long and now the movie is dead. Throughout the years, actors like John Goodman, and Will Ferrell have all been tapped to play the iconic role of Ignatius J. Reilly, a slothful 30-year-old who has adventures in New Orleans' French Quarter while reluctantly attempting to find a job, yet no studio has ever taken advantage of their eagerness.
If it ever does see the light of day, A Confederacy of Dunces would be one of the most high-brow comedies to come from Hollywood in years. We wouldn't want to see “Happy Madison Productions” flash on the screen before the opening credits, and we certainly don’t want so see “Directed By The Farrelly Brothers” either. Nothing should be dumbed down here, as the novel is too near-and-dear to lit fans everywhere to just be bastardized like that.
A director like Matthew Vaughn would be perfect for this movie, given his experience with offbeat ensembles and humor. And the role of Ignatius Reilly seems tailor-made for either Jorge Garcia or Zach Galifianakis to take on. We can always dream, right?