It rarely happens, but there’s always something intriguing about an author adapting their own work for a big screen adaptation. That’s exactly what writer Douglas Coupland (Generation X) will do with the adaptation of his 2007 novel, The Gum Thief.
However, unlike Stephen Chbosky, who not only wrote the screenplay for the cinematic adaptation of his novel The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, but also directed the film, Coupland will just work on the screenplay, while J.B. Sugar will direct the movie.
The pairing makes sense as Sugar previously directed three episodes of the series jPod, which was based on the novel by – you guessed it – Coupland.
The Gum Thief tells the story of Roger and Bethany, two Staples employees with very different backgrounds. The former is a middle-aged alcoholic dealing with family trauma while the latter is a young goth with no discernible future. When Bethany finds out Roger is basing a character in his novel on her, the story within a story reveals a complex meta-narrative.
Coupland said: “it’s been a pleasure to watch J.B.’s creativity blossom over the past decade. It’s exciting to be part of his next thrusts forward”, while Sugar added “working with Douglas adapting jPod was among the highlights of my career thus far, and I am beyond excited by the potential of bringing another of his extraordinary stories and ensemble of captivating characters to the screen”.
So while Coupland fans have probably by now given up hope on that Generation X movie that’s now years too late to be made, they can take comfort in the fact that the author himself will be heavily involved in this latest adaptation of his work.
Coupland’s novels don’t scream cinematic potential when read, but the dialogue is crisp and there’s always plenty of intrigue to them. Hopefully this film adaptation can capture just that.