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Who Should be Cast in 2021 "Bonfire of the Vanities"
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I’m doing a podcast discussion for the VDARE book club of Tom Wolfe’s extremely relevant 1987 novel Bonfire of the Vanities. The bad 1990 movie version was notoriously miscast. Sit-com supremo Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory) announced five years ago he was going to do a television series of it, but I haven’t heard anything since.

In the unlikely event that Bonfire ever gets remade, who would you want to see in it?

For Sherman McCoy, my first thought is Irish/German actor Michael Fassbender, who was a sensation from 2009-2015, but who has largely been devoting his energies to auto racing in recent years (although a couple of years ago Fassebender was rumored for Mel Gibson’s remake of The Wild Bunch, along with Jamie Foxx and the formidable dwarf actor Peter Dinklage). Are there any youngish American actors who could portray Sherman’s WASP hauteur these days?

 
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  1. Anon[272] • Disclaimer says:

    Anya Taylor Joy. She could also be Kirk in the next ST movie.

    • Replies: @Corn
  2. notsaying says:

    WASPs lost their dominance before Whites lost theirs. Too bad nobody noticed the parallels. I guess nobody thought that when Whites were over 80% of the US population that they would ever allow themselves to be pushed out of their dominant demographic position but the evidence of our idiocy and inaction shows that is exactly what happened.

    Do today’s people under 25 or 30 even know what a WASP is? How about the ones who are WASPs — do they even know it?

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
  3. I’m sure you could do it completely with the extended Kardashian Klan & Kanye.

    • Agree: Liza
  4. Mike Tre says:

    Fassbender has to be in his mid to late 40’s. He actually had a smart part in the Band of Brothers series 20 years ago, along with Tom Hardy and James McAvoy.

    Lorre might pull it off if he goes full woke, casting Chaz Bono, Bruce Jenner, Rachel Levine, and Jen Pritzker. He could call it the Bonfire of the Trannities.

    • LOL: Liza, BB753
  5. Main Cast
    -Sherman McCoy: Tom Hiddleston (Eton-educated, immensely bankable)
    -Peter Fallow: Tim Roth/Peter Thewlis
    -Larry Kramer: Jeremy Piven (see “Gold, Ari”)

    Other key characters
    -Judy McCoy: Margot Robbie
    -Maria Ruskin: Ana de Armas
    -Abe Weiss: Dustin Hoffman
    -Reverend Bacon: Jussie Smollet (Some good makeup could get him looking more aged)

  6. Cillian Murphy, Emile Hirsch, Christopher Walken.

  7. WASP hauteur? As we know, “WASP” is a bad term that miscategorizes people. You mean the old New England stock.

    I’d say, given how they surrendered the country, this guy kneeling would work. The one holding the leash is in the role of a New York Ashkenazi. And the slave, groveling in public, catches the character of the “WASP” elite.

  8. @International Jew

    As long as he’d be Jewish – why not? 🙂

  9. slumber_j says:
    @International Jew

    Does he need to be black?

    The question answers itself.

    Instead of taking the wrong exit off the Bruckner Expressway onto the surface streets of the South Bronx, he somehow exits the Belt Parkway into Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and hits an Italian-American kid walking home from helping his ailing grandmother.

    Originally–before the press knows the hit-and-run driver’s race–it’s played as a tragedy in the media. But once the suspect’s race becomes clearer as witnesses emerge, it becomes obvious to everyone that the kid was a white supremacist who was probably menacing McCoy and in any case certainly had it coming. Sherman McCoy becomes a media hero, is invited to the White House and to address a joint session of Congress, and everyone but the evil saps in Bay Ridge lives happily ever after.

    Less dramatic conflict and therefore more boredom, but we actually strongly prefer that these days as long as it confirms stuff. Bonus: you don’t even have to rename Sherman McCoy.

  10. Bugg says:

    The novel is too un PC to ever be remade. Unless Sherman struck an Irish or Italian guy on his way to the numerous KKK rallies the Bronx is know for. As per 2013 census data, the Bronx was 43% white. That is probably a bit high today. Really there’s Riverdale, which is a neighborhood of Jews who do not use “The Bronx” on their addresses, and Manhattan College, a goyim engineering school; Fordham University; and a chunk of Italians clustered north of Throgs Neck north of Trump’s golf course. Other than that, it’s a terrible place.

    Above all how would the MFM ever allow a media member to be portrayed like the Steve Dunleavy/Peter Fallow character. No doubt they would have Hugh Grant turn him into cardboard. Fallow was Dunleavy to a tee. A personal career highlight was being featured in a Dunleavy column regarding 2 police officers who had the misfortune of being in the stationhouse the night Abner Louima was assaulted and weren’t at first entirely truthful; they had nothing to do with the assault, merely were there . The US Attorney offered them a deal, and then backed out. The US Attorney’s conduct became the subject of a hearing before a federal judge in which I testified and Dunleavy made myself and co-counsel out to be defenders of all that was good and proper. Alas can no longer find it on line. Never spoke to Dunleavy, all he did was put the hearing testimony of me haggling with the US Attorney in his column verbatim and extolled our integrity.

  11. @notsaying

    I guess nobody thought that when Whites were over 80% of the US population that they would ever allow themselves to be pushed out of their dominant demographic position but the evidence of our idiocy and inaction shows that is exactly what happened.

    Politicians and the mass media assured white folks that it was just a right-wing conspiracy, and that anyone who disagreed was a white supremacist nazi.

    Who (coincidentally) will be permanently unemployable starting tomorrow morning.

  12. Mr. Anon says:

    BOTV is an anachronism. It’s no more relevant to contemporary America than the novels of Booth Tarkington or the stories of Damon Runyon. That America is dead. The Old Weird America that Wolfe celebrated in his earlier books is dead. Even 1980s America is dead. It’s the Stone Age.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  13. Bugg says:
    @slumber_j

    Sadly Bay Ridge is now so overwhelmingly Arab it’s called “Beirut”.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Gapeseed
  14. Tony Tea says:

    Gibson’s Point Blank remake was fantastic, so I’ve high hopes for his Wild Bunch remake.

    • Replies: @Sick 'n Tired
  15. Foseti says:

    I’ve always picture McCoy as looking a lot like Christian Bale

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Prester John
  16. Mr. Anon says:

    For Sherman McCoy, my first thought is Irish/German actor Michael Fassbender,…

    Fassbender is a good actor. It’s a pity he wasted his talents in all that comic-book crap, but that could be said of a lot of actors nowadays. He would be ideal to play the role of Mr. Kurtz in Heart of Darkness, a novel that has never gotten a good telling on the screen, and likely never will.

    • Replies: @Bill B.
  17. Dan Hayes says:
    @slumber_j

    To bring things up to date: Black Mr McCoy never gets out of the neighborhood alive since the kid was a junior member of the Gotti Family!

    BTW, present-day Bay Ridge, Brooklyn has now transitioned into majority Moslem – so much for progress.

  18. Fjkkkkku says:

    I always thought Tucker Carlson would be an excellent Sherman McCoy, much better than Tom Hanks. He remains ALMOST youthful enough to play him now, but I think he would do well as the elder McCoy.

    I know Carlson isn’t an actor, but he is a TV performer, and, with the right direction, he could probably do a fine job. After all, George Plimpton was in the original, and he played it perfectly. His character was a caricature, but then again, so was his own personality. Plimpton was a fake, with a fake accent, but he was a REAL fake.

    Chris Evans would be an ideal Sherman, but I doubt they’ll actually make a movie or series version of TBOTV. It would be too risky in the Age of Woke. It was too risky in the eighties, which why they didn’t really do it, despite the film of the same name.

    • Agree: northeast
    • Replies: @Bill B.
    , @Reg Cæsar
  19. C’mon Steve. Do we have to have cis gender male for the lead? Queen Latifa would be my pick for Shermenia Mac-Coy.

  20. Fjkkkkku says:

    Judge Judy could be one of the judges.

  21. theMann says:

    Karen Gillan – that way I might actually watch it.

  22. I really can’t think of any American actors who could convincingly portray these parts. Perhaps there’s some up-and-comer in one of the good British acting schools.

    Maybe Henry Cavill could play Sherman. Fifteen years ago, before he became a sot and a joke, Ben Affleck would have done. Don’t laugh, think of it.

    Jon Hamm would have been very good casting, but his career went down the tubes and he’s a bit old for the part now.

    Christian Bale as the drunk British journo would work.

    But it’ll never be made and that’s probably a good thing: they’d put Tessa Thompson or some other biracial in the Melanie Griffith part, not that she was great, but still.

    Wokeness has destroyed Hollywood.

  23. @International Jew

    Does he need to be black?

    Don’t we all? I mean, when you really stop and think about it, don’t we all?

    Reflect for a moment, everyone. This can be a real teachable opportunity here.

    The many ills that afflict our sorry society: can’t they all be traced to the fact that we’re just not black enough? (Sorry, Black enough) I know mine can. Wait, get your mind out of the gutter.

    Well who knows. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I have it all backwards

  24. Black-Jewish gravel-voiced loudmouth Tiffany Haddish simply must turn up somewhere

  25. When I first read BOTV I pictured Bruce Willis as McCoy,not the gay,drunk Brit reporter.
    As for a new one, I have very little familiarity with modern actors. They’re all the same to me. At some point in life,actors became invisible to me. Brad Pitt,Affleck,that class of actors is the last one I have any knowledge of.
    I wish James Gandolfini had lived and,ftm
    , was younger, as he would liven up the story in some role!

  26. “Sherman’s WASP hauteur..”

    With a name like “McCoy” Sherman was hardly a WASP. More like lace-curtain Irish Ascendancy.

  27. Ray P says:

    Jesse Eisenberg as Sherman McCoy.
    Benedict Cumberbatch as Peter Fallow.

    • Replies: @njguy73
  28. Read the book. Wolfe’s best. Didn’t waste time with the movie.

    Still loved the scene where Sherman is trying to explain to his daughter exactly what he does for a living.

    • Agree: Tina Trent
  29. The W is WASP stands for Wealthy.

    They haven’t gone anywhere except (fake) left.

  30. Uh – oh … CRT crazed black lady is reportedly rising in the NYC D mayoral polls, as scandals hit slightly less pernicious black frontrunner

  31. I’m so tired of immigrants playing Americans, so no, not Michael Fassbender. If you want hauteur in an American, go gay, so Matt Bomer would be good. Chris Messina (straight) would also be good. Or go a bit more obscure with Christopher Denham.

    But whatever, make it American. Deeply fed up with English, Australian, and German actors getting trained in American accents and driving labor costs down.

  32. Would you set the new version in the original time frame or shamelessly update it for all the Cuomo/DeBlasio yuks, Floyd follies and covid chaos? Like yesterday’s fatal shooting outside a trendy Chelsea hotel — That’ll bring the tourists back!

  33. Mr. Grey says:
    @education realist

    They taking all the good black roles too! How’s a fella supposed to get an Academy Award with all these Nigerians speaking Shakespeare n’ shit?

  34. Yak-15 says:

    Channing Tatum could play an Ivy League jock turned Wall Street trader big shot type. This trait set is more common than you’d suppose.

  35. JMcG says:

    Leonardo DiCaprio? I don’t think he’s too old yet.

  36. Fassbender looks too nordic, although his ancestry is perfect.

    Wolfe’s WASPy protagonists often suggest a vague level of exotic non-WASP ancestry (the last name McCoy, naming his daughter “Campbell”; Hoyt Thorpe’s father who conned his way into the WASP elite).

  37. Abe says:

    “Elliot” Page. “He’s” young, clean-cut, social media savvy, and almost certain not to have any icky #MeToo/toxically male baggage in “his” closet!

    ( WARNING – check solidity of stomach contents before unfurling the MORE tab below )

    [MORE]

  38. Jack D says:

    In The Social Network, Armie Hammer plays both Winklevoss twins as sort of entitled WASPy twerps.

    I think he could play Sherman McCoy pretty well as the grown up version of the twins. I’m sure some here would object because Hammer has a Jewish great grandfather, the infamous Communist Billionaire Armand Hammer. But Hammer’s quantum of Jewish blood is quite small and in fact many distinguished WASPs have a bit (or sometimes more than a bit) of Jewish blood by now. Hammer, BTW, is also a descendant of Cherokee Chief Kanagatucko on his mother’s side.

    • Agree: Not Raul, Gapeseed
    • Replies: @Whiskey
    , @S. Anonyia
    , @Benens
  39. Instead of formidable dwarf actor Peter Dinklage I suggest Warwick Davis. He was fantastic in the leprechaun series of movies. Jennifer Aniston also starred in the first leprechaun movie back when she was very young.

    Warwick Davis would replace The Reverend Al Sharpton in this new remake. A super Academy Award performance would sure to be.

    The following lines would be good in the remake.

    “A friend with weed is a friend indeed, but a friend with gold is the best, I’m told.”

    “Girl: {\(on phone) “How tall you, sweet thing?”
    Leprechaun: “How tall am I? Uh, about 3 foot 6.”
    Girl: “3 foot 6?”
    Leprechaun: “Yeah, but, I make up for it in other areas, if you know what I mean.”
    (pause, then dial tone)
    Leprechaun: “Hello?”

  40. I’ve always thought Tom Wolfe’s novels are unfilmable and thus filming of them should not be attempted.

    • Replies: @Fjkkkkku
  41. Currahee says:

    DePalma is a good director and knows how to have fun (Scarface); but I think he was completely and totally clueless in his interpretation the Wolfe novel. Wolfe just cashed the check and washed his hands.

    • Disagree: R.G. Camara
    • Replies: @donut
    , @R.G. Camara
  42. Not Raul says:

    Are there any youngish American actors who could portray Sherman’s WASP hauteur these days?

    Chris Pine might be able to pull it off.

    I can think of a British actor who might be able to pull it off: Tom Hiddleston.

  43. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Jack D

    Hammer would eat that role up!

    • LOL: S. Anonyia, Not Raul
  44. I forgot to add that Paul Giammati should be cast, perhaps as Larry Kramer.

    Willem Dafoe as the streetwise Irish litigator.

    Craig Robinson as Rev. Bacon.

    Jude Law as Peter Fallow

    Jeff Goldblum as Myron Kovitsky

    Elliot Gould as Abe Weiss

    • Agree: TyRade
  45. @notsaying

    WASPs have aligned with Jews to fuel the diversity drive since 1965. It’s their revenge for letting the Ellis Island Catholics take them over.

  46. The original Bonfire film proved that Brian DePalma is a schlocky director unworthy of the high praise/rank he is accorded. Having watched a number of his films, the phrase “overrated” is an understatement. I mean, the hack even used “it was all a dream” as the ending to a movie!

    His best work has been horror (Carrie) which had scenery-chewing Piper Laurie and Sissy Spacek, and The Untouchables, which had the on-fire young stud Kevin Costner, the still-on-fire Robert DeNiro chewing scenery, and the re-ignitied Sean Connery chewing scenery, as well as David Mamet writing the script and heavy studio involvement. DePalma has even admitted that he was just an artisan on the The Untouchables, not an artist, and that the tone and vision were Mamet’s. Which we should all be thankful for.

    In short, he’s Joel Schumacher with better press.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  47. Paleoconn says:

    Ryan Philippe seems to be the evil white prep choice for many movies, especially The Lincoln Lawyer where his victims are Latinas, as an added bonus. He’d be a good Sherman McCoy.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  48. SafeNow says:

    Wolfe’s brilliantly cynical and highly successful book contained no sympathetic characters. DePalma decided that a movie had to have a sympathetic protagonist, so he cast Hanks. The movie bombed, with the public and with critics. Critics attributed this to having casted a likable protagonist. If I were casting a remake, I would not repeat this casting error. I am not sufficiently familiar with contemporary actors to provide names, but minimal likability would be my template.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    , @anoneeey
  49. Are there any youngish American actors who could portray Sherman’s WASP hauteur these days?

    I can’t help you, but someone who looks like Ronan Farrow would work.

    Bonfire the film made the big mistake of airbrushing the Englishman Peter Fallow out of the script, which was too bad, since Fallow did what the Daily Mail and Guardian do today: gaslight racial conflict in America. Putting this on film for all posterity would have been hugely useful.

    Bonfire was following the tried and true Hollywood rule that the English shouldn’t be bad guys unless they’re in crime/action movies, in which case it’s okay for them to be villains, provided they’re really villainous. (Hans Gruber, Zod, Ozymandias) They’re never cast as just normal shitty human beings you really want to assault with a rolling pin.

  50. @slumber_j

    Great stuff, and unfortunately for us, all too plausible (Wolfe is looking down on us, saying to himself, “I told them, but would they listen?”). You’re 100% right about the name: today, Sherman McCoy is at least as likely to be a black kid from East New York or Brownsville as a member of the Knickerbocker Greys.

    One minor quibble: if we’re in the 21st century, and not in the 1980’s, the accident should take place just off Exit 5 of the Belt, the Bay Parkway exit, right near the Ceasar’s Bay Shopping Center in Bensonhurst (or, if you’re really from the neighborhood, you might call it Bath Beach). Bensonhurst is seriously Chinese these days, but it used to be one of Brooklyn’s most solidly Italian neighborhoods, and still is to some extent. Bay Ridge was also very Italian (Saturday Night Fever), but it also had the substantial Scandinavian influence, unique to Brooklyn neighborhoods (Mad Men secretary-cum-advertising copywriter Peggy Olsen hailed from Bay Ridge).

    • Agree: Gapeseed
  51. @education realist

    So no Antony Starr, though he’d be excellent.

  52. Goatweed says:

    Season one of the Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time has been shot.

    The casting is as I expected, not as I would have done it. Female descendants of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Rigg…my choices.

  53. Nachum says:
    @International Jew

    The movie changed the judge from Jewish to black (Morgan Freeman). As I recall, they didn’t want the image of a black mob chasing a white man.

    They also didn’t include Wolfe’s postscript, in which we find out that McCoy, rather than getting off, becomes a serial defendant.

    I was once at a reading where someone diplomatically asked Wolfe about the movie. He was kind of resigned about it, and said he just hoped people would realize it wasn’t his.

    I think National Geographic (i.e., Disney) is now remaking The Right Stuff, agonizing over how they can make it Woke.

    • Replies: @Moses
  54. @education realist

    I agree, totally.

    Matt Bomer started out on one of the CBS soaps (Guiding Light, I think). His character was a crazy teenager who started stalking a girl who was dating a baseball player. IIRC, the stalker kidnapped her and tried to rape her. The baseball player rescued her in the nick of time. I forget whether the stalker was killed or whether he just went to prison.

    Both Bomer and the blonde guy playing the baseball player were so obviously gay that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief. The storyline would have made more sense if Bomer was trying to kill the girl so he could have the jock all to himself.

  55. @Jack D

    He isn’t as handsome as he used to be, plus he’s embroiled in a cannibalism scandal.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @donut
  56. Anon[341] • Disclaimer says:

    Are there any youngish American actors who could portray Sherman’s WASP hauteur these days?

    Only Jewish ones.

  57. njguy73 says:
    @Ray P

    Jesse Eisenberg playing a WASP investment banker?

    In what universe, good sir? In what universe?

  58. The plot would need to be a reworked a bit, and retitled as the Prodigal Prince.

    The central character would be an English prince who gets tired of lolling about and playing Polo, and decides to set off and seek his fortune in the colonies.

    Cut off financially by his father, and unaccustomed to real work, he gets a job as a bond salesman for a major banking house, where his job is to call up the potential clients such as Arabian sheiks, glad hand them a little bit, and then pass the phone over to the real sales person.

    One evening while driving home, being unused to driving on the right hand side of the road, he takes a wrong turn and ends up offering a ride to a young black female streetwalker called Divine Markle. He is blackmailed and forced to marry her, so that she will have children who will take over the throne of England, thus achieving retribution for the role of the British crown in slavery.

    Realizing that he has made a real mess of things, the Prince tries to commit suicide by overdosing on Adderall, but wakes up in hospital with a female Pakistani psychiatrist holding his hand.

    In a surprise ending we find out that it was all a bad dream, and that the prince will be able to resume his princely position in England, marry the Pakistani psychiatrist, and one day be king after his brother’s whole family is wiped out in a terrorist bombing.

    The show will be on Lifetime TV.

    The lead roles will be played by Hugh Grant and Meghan Markle with screenplay by Ricky Gervais, and produced by Mountbatten Windsor studios.

  59. @Tony Tea

    The original Wild Bunch is pretty much a perfect western and example of masterful storytelling. There are parts in the movie that go almost 5 minutes+ without dialogue, yet you are so engrossed in the actions of the actors, it goes unnoticed. There’s no way possible any of today’s movies could pull off something like that. There’s also no reason to remake “The Wild Bunch” because they’ll remake it to our current woke standards, and completely ruin it.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
  60. Oh, this should be fun.

    I don’t see Michael Fassbender or Armie Hammer as Sherman McCoy. Too “leading man”. McCoy is mostly a passive/hapless protagonist in Bonfire. Taylor Nichols circa Barcelona (1994) would have been a good Sherman McCoy. Who is the young Taylor Nichols of today?

  61. @St. Beavis of Bunghole

    Judy McCoy is rather plain, Sherman has tired of her, Margot Robbie is not a fit.

    • Replies: @Fjkkkkku
    , @njguy73
  62. @Prester John

    In the novel McCoy’s family is from the South, so “Cavalier” WASP perhaps? But the name “Sherman” is a curveball, what was Wolfe suggesting?

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  63. I liked the movie. It wasn’t awful. It still had prominent Wolfeian themes, and a bit of eye-poking and shin-kicking of the media lemmings who pump most race stories. Then again, I’m remembering a 1990 movie from the vantage point of 2020, so it gets retroactive points just for not being a superhero movie with SJW themes.

  64. Jack D says:
    @S. Anonyia

    In the book, Sherman is supposed to be 38 and not necessarily movie star handsome. Hammer is 34 and his recent shopworn looks make him convincing to play 38. Plus I’m sure he would clean up nicely, especially with Hollywood quality makeup.

    The “cannibalism scandal” is just some females trying to cash in as usual. Females play a double game where they willingly participate in and even encourage sexual fetishes and then when the affair cools they were “forced into it”.

  65. donut says:
    @Currahee

    After I suffered through Bonfire I felt that DePalma should never be allowed on a movie set again . Scarface and Dressed to Kill were the only movies of his I liked .

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  66. donut says:
    @S. Anonyia

    “cannibalism” that’s hilarious .

    • Replies: @donut
  67. J.Ross says:
    @Paleoconn

    The Lincoln Lawyer is remarkable in that its entire plot, characterization, dialogue, and logic proceed directly from left-wing talking points, from just before whites and especially working-class whites became untermenschen. Like they drew political nudge phrases out of a hat and used that to write the script. Were it made today the villains would still be rich homophobic whites but they’re also be miscegnators, the biker gang would be Mexican, and the lawyer would be a Jewish transexual fourth-generation Holocaust survivor.

  68. J.Ross says:
    @R.G. Camara

    … have you seen The Phantom of the Paradise?

  69. @donut

    And how much of Scarface was Oliver Stone’s screenplay?

    Stone gives De Palma credit for the lavishness of the sets, but found him a slow, low-energy director.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  70. donut says:

    Jeff Daniels would have been good at the time but too old now . Steven Soderbergh to direct .

  71. Fjkkkkku says:
    @Prester John

    That was the point. His neighbor and former schoolmate, a true Knickerbocker, called him “Sherman McCoy, the mountain boy”, partly because of his Southern roots. Sherman, an Ivy-educated, but fairly uncultured and anti-intellectual stockbroker, who made money from and for the elite, and his Midwestern wife, were IN Society, but not OF Society. When his name first came to the attention of the police they assumed he was black. Only when he became the Great White Defendant did he became the evil blue-blood WASP, the epitome of privilege.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  72. Fjkkkkku says:
    @HunInTheSun

    Makeup could make Margo less beautiful, or possibly less makeup could.

  73. Fjkkkkku says:
    @Acid Queen

    There’s a lot of material in TBOTV. A decent two hour movie could be made of it, but a miniseries could explore or more fully.

  74. usNthem says:

    For the most part, the book was a pretty good read – but the ending was poor – kind of like he ran out of gas.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  75. @St. Beavis of Bunghole

    Tim Roth is way too old for Fallow. Move Hiddleston down into that role.

    And I agree with Hun that Margot Robbie is too young and hot to play Judy. IIRC, isn’t Judy slightly older than Sherman, so she should be 40-ish, and well on her way to being a ‘starved to perfection’ X-ray. She needs to be skinny and looking past her prime.

    Ana de Armas is perfect for Maria, though.

    • Replies: @donut
  76. @Steve Sailer

    Scarface is such laughable horrid trash, it is only lauded by rappers who are trying to look tough to fans and other rappers. Even watching it as a teen (and therefore most susceptible to that kind of trash) I found it garish and over-the-top.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  77. Corn says:
    @Anon

    Is this a joke or are you serious? Are they thinking of replacing James T Kirk with Jane T Kirk?

    • Replies: @Ray P
  78. @Currahee

    Wolfe just cashed the check and washed his hands.

    I know most authors have a love/hate relationship with their work being adapted: they love the money and the attention, but they hate the mutilation of their product + the fact that the movie/TV version will be what most people actually think of when they think of the work rather than their work.

    but it changes with the author. For example, Stephen King is a sick moneygrubber and famewhore, and will sell his book for pretty much any adaptation, except when the adaptation is so much better than his book —e.g. Kubrick’s The Shining — he will go out of his way to buy back the rights and sell them to someone else to make a schlockier version —e.g. the miniseries version of The Shining.

    If there’s one thing King can’t stand, it’s being shown up. (if there’s another thing King can’t stand, its a book without a child sex scene, but that’s another story).

    In contrast to King, for an artist like Wolfe, I’ll bet her was tickled Bonfire movie was so horrible and financially unsuccessful. Sure, it tampered down on future attempts to adapt his work, but he got a large royalty check and the knowledge that when people think of the definitive Bonfire, they will remember his book, not the Hollywood movie. Heck, at the time, I can recall people bringing up the book as superior art when bashing the trash movie, which only added to Wolfe’s lustre.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Jim Don Bob
  79. Bill B. says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Heart of Darkness, a novel that has never gotten a good telling on the screen, and likely never will.

    Apocalypse Now

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  80. Bill B. says:
    @Fjkkkkku

    much better than Tom Hanks.

    I don’t want to see Tom Hanks in anything. I started watching Saving Private Ryan yesterday when Hanks did his luvvie-schtick: using gum to attach a hand mirror to a stick to look over a rock. Something so fake, so smug about his gestures…

  81. guest says:
    @notsaying

    I was watching a recent movie featuring a Dot Indian employed by a Daily Show-type tv show complaining about WASP privilege in the writing staff. This could only have one of two meanings:

    1. She was actually complaining about Jews but can’t say so openly, or

    2. She used Ivy League white person in place of WASP.

    I can believe High Academia still has some hold on mass media jobs involving manipulation of language. But odds are not great these writers are true WASPs. Just as likely if not more to be Conan O’Briens (is there a term for successful clannish Irish Catholics?) or your garden-variety Jewish person.

    • Replies: @Bugg
  82. @R.G. Camara

    The screenwriter who wrote the 1990 Bonfire had earlier done the screenplay for the money-making adaptation of John Updike’s Witches of Eastwick, which had a lot of star power and was a fun trifle. When I went and then read Updike’s book, I saw it wasn’t very much like the movie.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  83. @R.G. Camara

    Scarface is very vulgar but it’s a pretty memorable movie, although I attribute that more Stone’s script and Pacino’s acting than De Palma’s direction.

  84. @Steve Sailer

    For a long time, I thought Cher must’ve been one of the greatest actresses of all time, because almost every movie she was in (like Witches of Eastwick) was always given four stars and touted by critics.

    I used to think, “Man, she’s a great actress and and she knows how to pick them!”

    Then I saw a few and couldn’t understand the disparity between what I saw and what was said about them. Most weren’t bad, most were good and watchable, but they were not world beaters.

    It wasn’t until later I realized that gay icon Cher had a lot of worshipful homos in the film & critic industry who took anything she did and hyped it to the stars. It was then I realized that Barbara Streisand’s movie career probably benefited from the Lavender Mafia as well.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Dan Hayes
  85. @R.G. Camara

    Dave Chappelle plays Conspiracy Brother in Malcolm Lee’s comedy “Undercover Brother.”

    “So there really is a conspiracy to keep Spike Lee from winning an Oscar?”

    “They gave an Oscar to Cher. Cher!”

    • Replies: @donut
    , @J.Ross
    , @Dave Pinsen
  86. @Fjkkkkku

    I always thought Tucker Carlson would be an excellent Sherman McCoy, much better than Tom Hanks.

    Bonfire of the Hannitys?

    • LOL: JMcG, Gapeseed
  87. @Fjkkkkku

    Yeah, lots of subtle nuances about class and ethnicity in the book.

  88. donut says:
    @donut

    Way back when my Pug was a puppy I had a girl over one night , as we were making the beast with two backs my little guy hopped up on the bed and began sniffing my balls I could feel his little whiskers , LOL , It was too distracting and ridiculous I had to stop and toss him out . After that I always closed the door . Afterwards we were laughing about it and I thought it would be a funny scene in a movie and even funnier if the guy in the movie had trained his dog to do that .
    We eventually parted on good terms . Now I have no doubt that if she had been a vindictive bitch she would tell that little story but exaggerate it and add in the part about training the dog to make it sound creepy . Bitches be like that .

  89. Mr. Anon says:
    @Bill B.

    Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now was a good movie (a great movie!), but it wasn’t a faithful retelling of the story. It didn’t get at the heart of Heart of Darkness, although it did better than most contemporary po-mo professors do. And it was certainly a lot better than the awful HBO movie with Tim Roth and John Malkovich. To date, Apocalypse Now is the best there is. But I’d like to see a movie that was truly faithful to Conrad’s novel. Of course, nowadays, that is never going to happen.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @Bill B.
    , @Bardon Kaldian
  90. donut says:
    @Steve Sailer

    That was a good movie . After Undercover brother has slept with White She-Devil they all crowd around envious and Conspiracy Brother Jones says “was it every thing I dreamed it would be ?”

  91. TyRade says:

    Lee Pace for Sherman. He was pretty slick and WASPY in the De Lorean movie and the Amazon 80s computer start up series Halt and Catch Fire. But dweebish Peter Buttgieg would be the choice if Sherman has to come out as homosexual (I say ‘if’…). Presumably members of the extended George Floyd family and tribute band would (have to) play members of the entourage of the ‘victim’? AOC look-a-like could be mayor.

  92. Bill B. says:
    @Mr. Anon

    I would have to reread Heart of Darkness to really comment; you are probably right.

    I rewatched Apocalypse Now recently to find it more confused than I remember (though this was the inferior long version). The Americans were already so awful that Kurtz’s descent into the depths did not seem such a stretch.

    (Orwell’s Burmese Days critiqued colonialism by bringing together the worst sorts of bigots and ignoramuses one could find in the country at that time. A not entirely dissimilar trick.)

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  93. Bugg says:
    @guest

    Had dinner recently with a friend/client who is a white guy/screenwriter in Hollywood.

    There was nothing filmed for almost a year due to COVID.

    There is a huge backlog of stuff that was in the pipeline.

    Right now, nothing is getting produced unless it’s “woke” ; there has to be some black people involved, in all aspects, of any production. That goes for in the pipeline or brand new things. To the point he was compelled to partner with a black guy screenwriter to get any of his work even read much less off the ground.

    • Replies: @europeasant
  94. Ray P says:
    @Corn

    IN the last ever episode of Star Trek (‘Turnabout Intruder’), Captain Kirk truly boldly goes where no man has gone before when he becomes … a lady.

  95. Dan Hayes says:
    @SafeNow

    Not sympathy for, but respect for, the shifty Irish lawyer and the Irish NYPD!

  96. Dan Hayes says:
    @usNthem

    But Wolfe also runs out of gas in most of his books!

  97. Dan Hayes says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Judy Garland was the precedent!

    • Replies: @guest
  98. Ian M. says:
    @Sick 'n Tired

    Ugh, I watched The Wild Bunch for the first time last year and thought it vastly inferior to other classic westerns. There’s not a likable character in the bunch (I wanted them dead at the hand of Thornton, who instead shows himself to be dishonorable by allowing his own posse to get murdered and then joins the band of outlaws who killed them), I disliked the ’70s style cinematography with the quick zoom-ins, and the final blood bath scene was ridiculously over the top and stupid.

    There’s also no reason for a movie like that to be as long as it is.

    The main good thing about it is the music. Also the scene where Thornton’s posse disembarks from the train (to give chase) to the surprise of the gang is very good.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  99. By the way- Tom Hanks is @sshole ….

  100. Pheasant says:

    ‘Irish-German’

    ‘WASP hauteur’

    Ironically Tom Hanks sucks at playing characters that are the same as he is- a rich preppy White guy. Hanks plays salt of the earth Americans very well.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  101. @Mr. Anon

    Correct. The 1980s and earlier was the Anglo-American nation-state. Current America is the multicultural empire consisting of the Goodwhite/Badwhite/Latino/Black/Jewish/MENA/Mystery-meat nations. In one generation, the two white tribes will be a numeric minority and that iteration of the American empire will be even more bizarre than the current one. Then it will break up.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  102. njguy73 says:
    @HunInTheSun

    In the 1990 dumpster fire (I hesitate to call it a movie) Kim Cattrall played Judy McCoy.

    “I’m tired of Kim Cattrall,” said No Man Ever.

  103. J.Ross says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Undercover Brother was very weak in volume of material (almost everything is in the trailer), but it makes up for that in the kind of relevance and sarcasm once taken for granted from comedians, and since now movies have gone insane, probably holds up well today (if only because the current competition is KILL KILL KILL EVERY LAST WHITE MAN KILL HIM UNTIL HE DEAD). The best part of Chappelle’s character is his sensible paranoia failing him when the enemy exploits the universal love of fried chicken.

  104. OFWHAP says:

    I want to see “A Man in Full” and “I am Charlotte Simmons.”

    • Replies: @Bugg
    , @Gapeseed
  105. @Pheasant

    Hanks is rich and he is white too. But preppy he is not. He is a working class boy from the wrong side of the Bay Area tracks. Chabot College? I guess you have to have been to Berkeley to realise how funny that is. His parents (and please, I am making no moral judgments here) held quintessentially lower-class jobs.
    Hanks plays “salt of the earth Americans” well because he is one. He doesn’t play preppies well because he isn’t one, and his imagination can’t encompass what they are really like, nor even what his class likes to think they are like.

    He looks all wrong too.

    • Replies: @Fjkkkkku
  106. @Mr. Anon

    But I’d like to see a movie that was truly faithful to Conrad’s novel. Of course, nowadays, that is never going to happen.

    The novella is unfilmable. The climax is the ending:

    “I was on the point of crying at her, ‘Don’t you hear them?’ The dusk was repeating them in a persistent whisper all around us, in a whisper that seemed to swell menacingly like the first whisper of a rising wind. ‘The horror! The horror!’

    “‘His last word—to live with,’ she murmured. ‘Don’t you understand I loved him—I loved him—I loved him!’

    “I pulled myself together and spoke slowly.

    “‘The last word he pronounced was—your name.’

    “I heard a light sigh, and then my heart stood still, stopped dead short by an exulting and terrible cry, by the cry of inconceivable triumph and of unspeakable pain. ‘I knew it—I was sure!’ . . . She knew. She was sure. I heard her weeping; she had hidden her face in her hands. It seemed to me that the house would collapse before I could escape, that the heavens would fall upon my head. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a trifle. Would they have fallen, I wonder, if I had rendered Kurtz that justice which was his due? Hadn’t he said he wanted only justice? But I couldn’t. I could not tell her. It would have been too dark—too dark altogether. . . .”

    Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. “We have lost the first of the ebb,” said the Director, suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.

    How do you film this?

    You don’t.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @guest
  107. @Ian M.

    Huh?

    This is what sends shivers up most viewers’ spines …

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  108. @HunInTheSun

    Nobody here ever heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys? Or that the McCoy whose murder ignited the feud was returning from having fought for the Union?

    His line could easily have named a son “Sherman”. The point being that Sherman was something of a misfit from before he was even born.

  109. @Prester John

    Irish yes, but Scots-Irish, like Andrew Jackson.

    “Lace-curtain Irish” were Catholic Irish who had forgotten their place. People like the Kennedys.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  110. Bugg says:
    @OFWHAP

    No way in Woke Hollywood anyone is touching either of those books.

  111. @Old Palo Altan

    Talking about US Prez …… Three cheers for Grover Cleveland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNdbmJmloGY

  112. @R.G. Camara

    Pat Conroy sold the movie rights to his book Prince of Tides to Babs Streisand who made a not real good movie out of it. When asked, Conroy said she paid me a lot of money for the rights, she can do what she wants. Most authors know that the movie made from their book will probably not be better than the book.

  113. @Bardon Kaldian

    Ahhh, those memorable scenes. Not being a sentimental person, they still have the power to light a spark within me.

  114. Fjkkkkku says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Hanks played preppies for comic effect.

    In 1990, both Hanks and Willis were known primarily as comedians, playing wild, outrageous characters who could also be smooth — cool jerks, if you will. The movie showcased their style of the time, but that had little to do with the book, and it wasn’t big enough for the both of them. Michael Keaton, the best practitioner of that style of comedy, IMO, could have played either character well.

  115. Gapeseed says:
    @Bugg

    Sadly Bay Ridge is now so overwhelmingly Arab it’s called “Beirut”.

    Surprised as I am (a Bay Ridge resident) at the shout out for my neighborhood, I must add the caveat that the Arabs dominate Fifth Avenue but become less numerous towards the water west and south. But I’ve heard the Beirut nickname and acknowledge that there is some truth to the supposition that Bay Ridge (other than a distinct lack of blacks and Jews) is the most truly diverse neighborhood in all of Brooklyn.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  116. Gapeseed says:
    @OFWHAP

    Time has passed I am Charlotte Simmons by. It was jolting at the time regarding sexuality on campus but would seem almost quaint today in that aspect. Meanwhile, no studio would dare touch the bracing race narrative.

  117. Moses says:
    @Nachum

    The Right Stuff, agonizing over how they can make it Woke.

    The Right Stuff had some woke-ish stuff in it, portraying the brilliant Werner von Braun and his team as a bunch of buffoonish German clowns. Hollywood cannot show Germans in a good light – es ist verboten.

    Oddly, I read Wolfe’s book before I saw the film. Had to turn off the film midway. It was just too Hollywooded up, a shallow cartoon of Wolfe’s novel which was often laugh-out-loud funny.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  118. Mr. Anon says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    How do you film this?

    You don’t.

    Perhaps. It would take the visual style of Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick, and the understanding of…………………nobody.

  119. Mr. Anon says:
    @Bill B.

    The important thing to know about Heart of Darkness is that – although set in colonial Belgian Congo – it has nothing to do with colonialism. That is the mistake that all those “woke”, po-mo, marxist, anti-colonialist a**hole professors and literary critics make, because they are dull-minded, conformist nitwits.

    Heart of Darkness is about the dethronement of God by Darwinism.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    , @guest
  120. @Bugg

    “Right now, nothing is getting produced unless it’s “woke” ”

    Who is the wizard behind the curtain. Someone is issuing these commands!

    • Agree: notsaying
  121. Benens says:
    @Jack D

    The only reason you think of Armie Hammer as a WASP is his Jewish ancestry. In his case, without his famous Jewish great-grandfather he wouldn’t have been born so rich and he would most likely be “just another white guy” or whatever. He also wouldn’t have been named “Armie Hammer.”

  122. @Mr. Anon

    ? Conrad didn’t know much or care a bit about Darwin.

    Heart of Darkness is what I would call the anti-Upanishad, a nihilist abyss. Conrad’s world view is, metaphorically & poetically, to be found in a letter …

    https://journals.openedition.org/fathom/1300

    The image of the automatic spinning – of a spinning machine – recalls Conrad’s knitting machine, which he depicted in a letter to his friend R.B. Cunningham Graham on December 20th, 1897:

    There is – let us say – a machine. It evolved itself (I am severely scientific) out of a chaos of scraps of iron and behold! – it knits. I am horrified at the horrible work and stand appalled. I feel it ought to embroider – but it goes on knitting. You come and say: ‘This is all right; it’s only a question of the right kind of oil. Let us use this – for instance – celestial oil and the machine will embroider a most beautiful design in purple and gold.’ Will it? Alas, no! You cannot by any special lubrication make embroidery with a knitting machine. And the most withering thought is that the infamous thing has made itself: made itself without thought, without conscience, without foresight, without eyes, without heart. It is a tragic accident – and it has happened…

    It knits us in and it knits us out. It has knitted space, time, pain, death, corruption, despair and all the illusions – and nothing matters.

    It is almost equal to Faulkner’s Judith Sutpen in Absalom, Absalom!

    You get born and you try this and you don’t know why only you keep on trying it and you are born at the same time with a lot of other people, all mixed up with them, like trying to, having to, move your arms and legs with string only the same strings are hitched to all the other arms and legs and the others all trying and they don’t know why either except that the strings are all in one another’s way like five or six people all trying to make a rug on the same loom only each one wants to weave his own pattern into the rug; and it can’t matter, you know that, or the Ones that set up the loom would have arranged things a little better, and yet it must matter because you keep on trying and then all of a sudden it’s all over and all you have left is a block of stone with scratches on it provided there was someone to remember to have the marble scratched and set up or had time to, and it rains on it and then sun shines on it and after a while they don’t even remember the name and what the scratches were trying to tell, and it doesn’t matter.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  123. guest says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Judy Garland was at least feminine and atractive and a good singer. If the gays liked her, and I guess they did, normal heterosexual men and women with ears could also like her.

    Cher, on the contrary, looked and acted like a drag queen. At least in the third decade of her career. Very much representative of what gay men would be if they happened to not have penises.

    They also pretend to be Judy, but I think they have to try a bit harder.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  124. guest says:
    @Mr. Anon

    That book, though short, is very densely written and full of these things called Ideas that popular fiction used to contain. I don’t blame most people for just assuming it’s about being mean to dark people.

    It doesn’t require high intellect, however, to notice at the end of the story the main character looks back towards London and sees it surrounded by darkness. So, you know, there’s probably bad stuff happening there, too.

    • Agree: Mr. Anon
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  125. guest says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I see what you’re getting at, but then again movie adaptations can never be literature. Not even bad literature. Most people accept this.

    What you’d do is get it into your head to film something different that produces the same effect.

    Which come to think of it is what Apocalypse Now tried. It failed spectacularly by the time it got to Kurtz, though it was okay beforehand.

  126. @Moses

    The Right Stuff had some woke-ish stuff in it, portraying the brilliant Werner von Braun and his team as a bunch of buffoonish German clowns. Hollywood cannot show Germans in a good light – es ist verboten.

    In German.

    In English (with Spanish subtitles!).

  127. anoneeey says:
    @SafeNow

    Nobody slogs through a book like Bonfire of the Vanities unless it has a sympathetic protagonist, on some level. What sort of human being doesn’t have some sympathy for an overcharged white defendant in a racially hostile environment?

    Anyway, would you invest in a movie without a likeable star? Be realistic. The problem with Tom Hanks was that he’s an annoying dick. His agent belongs in the Agent Hall of Fame.

    Casting the role today…. maybe Chris Pratt?

    I read the book years ago and the character that stands out the most is Ed Quigley, the private investigator hired by Sherman McCoy’s defense attorney. They need to make a movie about THAT guy.

  128. Dan Hayes says:
    @Gapeseed

    You shouldn’t be surprised at the shout out for your Brooklyn neighborhood since this just exemplifies the many NYC denizens at TUR!

    • Replies: @Gapeseed
  129. Mr. Anon says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    ? Conrad didn’t know much or care a bit about Darwin.

    Of course he knew about Darwin. He was an educated, literate man in late Victorian England.

    Heart of Darkness is what I would call the anti-Upanishad, a nihilist abyss. Conrad’s world view is, metaphorically & poetically, to be found in a letter …

    https://journals.openedition.org/fathom/1300

    The image of the automatic spinning – of a spinning machine – recalls Conrad’s knitting machine, which he depicted in a letter to his friend R.B. Cunningham Graham on December 20th, 1897:

    There is – let us say – a machine. It evolved itself (I am severely scientific) out of a chaos of scraps of iron and behold! – it knits. I am horrified at the horrible work and stand appalled. I feel it ought to embroider – but it goes on knitting. You come and say: ‘This is all right; it’s only a question of the right kind of oil. Let us use this – for instance – celestial oil and the machine will embroider a most beautiful design in purple and gold.’ Will it? Alas, no! You cannot by any special lubrication make embroidery with a knitting machine. And the most withering thought is that the infamous thing has made itself: made itself without thought, without conscience, without foresight, without eyes, without heart. It is a tragic accident – and it has happened…

    Thanks for providing the very quote which proves my thesis.

    Conrad knew what the consequence of the new Darwinian World view would be – a World without God, a World that is nothing but a jungle, a World in which men like Mr. Kurtz would ultimately make Gods of themselves.

  130. Mr. Anon says:
    @guest

    The narrator Marlow, near the beginning of the book, even mentions that England “has been one of the dark places of the Earth”. Of course he was speaking in geographical terms. But – as you point out – when he recapitulates that idea at the end of the story, talking about modern England – and after relating everything that happened along that river – Yes, one may conclude that there are some bad goings on there too.

    As you say, it’s a short, dense novella, full of ideas and images. I deem it to be one of the most consequential books of the last 120 years.

  131. Gapeseed says:
    @Dan Hayes

    I think you’re on to something.

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
  132. MEH 0910 says:

  133. @The Anti-Gnostic

    Did you two even read the novel? Of if it’s main themes is demographic change: the Jewish Bronx DA is the residue of a community that’s already been replaced everywhere except at the top of the pyramid. He and his mostly Irish-Italian-Jewish lawyers and cops are practically under siege. They have to travel in an armed group to their cars at the end of the day.

  134. @Steve Sailer

    Moonstruck was great, but it had lots of Oscar-worthy contributions behind and in front of the camera besides her.

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