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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

The Monkey Wrench Gang: The Movie

Matthew McConaughey, Jack Nicholson and more to star in a Hollywood adaptation of the Edward Abbey classic

In the annals of bad Hollywood ideas, classic novels rank just under video games as most-often-butchered source material. Throw another log onto the fire, and get ready for the eco-backlash: Hollywood has decided to adapt Edward Abbey's classic enviro novel The Monkey Wrench Gang for a 2010 release.

Right now, details don't go much further than whispered rumors, but Matthew McConaughey, Jack Nicholson, Richard Dreyfuss, John Goodman, and Elizabeth Shue are slated to star, and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke will direct. (Now I guess we know why Hardwicke bailed so quickly from the wildly popular teen vampire saga, although I suppose it's possible she left because she suddenly realized Twilight sucks.)

McConaughey will presumably star as eco-warrior George Hayduke, ann ex-Green Beret who leads a ragtag group of nature lovers and miscreants as they concoct schemes to sabotage those who threaten their beloved desert backcountry. The novel is widely credited with inspiring real-life eco-defense movements like Animal Liberation Front and Earth First!

No telling whether this movie will inspire new legions of earth warriors, but it's a pretty bold move from usually timid Hollywood producers, assuming they don't grind the material into tasteless pablum. Then again, maybe it'll end up like Into The Wild—classy, faithful, and largely ignored by those who weren't already fans of the book.

What do you think? Will this movie raise Abbey's spirit from the dead, or simply make him roll in his grave? Tell us in the comments section below.

—Ted Alvarez

Monkey Wrench Gang: The Movie (Cold Splinters)

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Adam
Jul 27, 2012

Will someone PLEASE make the damn movie?

tiger
Jul 04, 2012

Zach Galifinakis should be Hayduke
John Malovich should be Sarvis
Scarlett Johansen should be Bonnie
Brad Hall should be Smith.

Make it happen.

steve
May 16, 2012

make the stupid movie already!

Firannion
Feb 20, 2012

Apologies for the double post - the screen froze up on me.

Firannion
Feb 20, 2012

I have been waiting for years for Robert Redford to stop sitting on the rights to this property and would dearly love to see it on the big screen - especially the winch escape scene! But...Matthew McConaughey as Hayduke??? Horrible, horrible choice.

Oh, and although I want to see it kept as true to the original in other respects, they do need to tone down the sexism of the original, which is going to come across as really dated. I never in a million years believed that a feminist intellectual like Bonnie would've had the hots for a troglodyte like Hayduke. They'll have to change both characters' personalities if they want to keep the romance in.

Firannion
Feb 20, 2012

I have been waiting for years for Robert Redford to stop sitting on the rights to this property and would dearly love to see it on the big screen - especially the winch escape scene! But...Matthew McConaughey as Hayduke??? Horrible, horrible choice.

Oh, and although I want to see it kept as true to the original in other respects, they do need to tone down the sexism of the original, which is going to come across as really dated. I never in a million years believed that a feminist intellectual like Bonnie would've had the hots for a troglodyte like Hayduke. They'll have to change both characters' personalities if they want to keep the romance in.

Rudolph the Red
Jan 11, 2012

McConaughey as Heyduke???!! You gotta be fucking kidding me!! Ten years or so ago, when there were similar rumors of making this movie, Woody Harrelson was slated to be George. A MCUH better choice.

I think that this could be a great movie. Much of the book reads like a movie. But, Hollywood will no doubt fuck it up. Too bad, because I think with the right director, screen writer & cast it could be great.

mokidugway22
Dec 20, 2011

Hollywood will just water down this great story. I hope I'm wrong,but I think I'm not. Either way it doesn't matter because the book will always be great.

mokidugway22
Dec 20, 2011

Hollywood will just water down this great story. I hope I'm wrong,but I think I'm not. Either way it doesn't matter because the book will always be great.

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Please dont
Oct 03, 2011

Please don't make this movie!! It goes against all that Edward abbey stood for and believed!! Hollywood is going to bend the monkey wrench gang over and fuck them in the ass!! All I can hope for is that something happens to the movie and it never sees the light of day!!

Also to the ignorant fuck mislabeling the ALF, read their guidelines, there is a strict policy of non-violence towards any living being, human or non- human animals (disgusting vivisectionist scum and animal killers included)!! Same with the ELF, they operate under the same guidelines, to cause economic damage to those who profit from the exploitation of animals and the earth!! Anyways, read up before you talk about something, otherwise you just sound like a fucking idiot!!

Reading the monkey wrench gang opened my eyes and changed my life and I don't want to see the importance of it's message swallowed up and vomitted back up as watered down Hollywood garbage to be sensationalized and swept under the carpet when the hype dies down!!

"live free or fucking die!"
GWH
By any means necessary, no compromise in defense of mother earth!!

Please don't make the movie

Please dont
Oct 03, 2011

Please don't make this movie!! It goes against all that Edward abbey stood for and believed!! Hollywood is going to bend the monkey wrench gang over and fuck them in the ass!! All I can hope for is that something happens to the movie and it never sees the light of day!!

Also to the ignorant fuck mislabeling the ALF, read their guidelines, there is a strict policy of non-violence towards any living being, human or non- human animals (disgusting vivisectionist scum and animal killers included)!! Same with the ELF, they operate under the same guidelines, to cause economic damage to those who profit from the exploitation of animals and the earth!! Anyways, read up before you talk about something, otherwise you just sound like a fucking idiot!!

Reading the monkey wrench gang opened my eyes and changed my life and I don't want to see the importance of it's message swallowed up and vomitted back up as watered down Hollywood garbage to be sensationalized and swept under the carpet when the hype dies down!!

"live free or fucking die!"
GWH
By any means necessary, no compromise in defense of mother earth!!

Please don't make the movie

Lines Across the Sand
Jul 29, 2011

Help us bring this feature documentary to you! We could sure use some support.

Edward Abbey's novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang is the unifying thread of this character driven documentary currently in post-production. Lines Across the Sand (working title) offers a penetrating look at the environmental plight of the American Southwest, with a caustic sense of humor reminiscent of Abbey himself.
Created by Edward Abbey in his infamous novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, Doc Sarvis, Bonnie Abzug, Seldom Seen Smith and George Washington Hayduke were determined to resist the development of their beloved wilderness by any means necessary. Lines Across the Sand, from the heart of the Southwest, checks in on the “real” gang; Abbey’s friends and cohorts - the inspirations for this audacious American classic.
The film follows these characters as they relate their own bold adventures in the wilderness with similar humor, integrity and quirky contradictions as Abbey.
Importantly, the film explores the legacy of The Monkey Wrench Gang and the relevancy of monkeywrenching within the current environmental movement. Ultimately posing the question, has the political climate post - 9/11 changed the face of civil disobedience forever? www.linesacrossthesand.com
www.facebook.com/linesacrossthesand

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