“Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk is closer than ever to bringing his cult novel “Lullaby” to the silver screen, as the $250,000 Kickstarter campaign for his own screenplay adaptation of the book is more than 95 percent funded with 12 days remaining. The novel’s supernatural story focuses on a “culling song” printed in children’s books that causes any child whose parents read the song aloud to die.
Palahniuk, who will also executive produce the film, is prepared to make the movie on a micro-budget if he and his collaborators don’t raise more than their $250,000 target. “Lullaby” will be the second feature film for director Andy Mingo, who adapted the script with Palahniuk and previously directed the short film “Romance,” based on Palahniuk’s short story of the same name.
In an interview with IndieWire, Palahniuk called “Lullaby” his most conventionally popular book, and one that he originally thought would be turned into a TV series. “We had a lot of interest from TV people, but Andy kind of swooped in and grabbed the rights before they did,” Palahniuk said.
Though two of Palahniuk’s previous novels have been turned into movies – 1999’s “Fight Club” and 2008’s “Choke,” “Lullaby” represents his first foray into screenwriting. “The fortunate thing was that I had written it after learning comics and writing the ‘Fight Club 2’ graphic novel, so I had a much better sense of keeping the plot moving with action and with gesture rather than through dialogue,” Palahniuk said. “I really learned to hate dialogue in comics.”
The “Fight Club 2” graphic novel is being published by Dark Horse Comics on June 28.
“Lullaby’s” fictional tale came out of horrific real life events for Palahniuk, who wrote the novel while a man stood trial for the brutal murder of Palahniuk’s father. Palahniuk was even involved in the decision of whether his father’s murderer should receive the death sentence.
Despite the link between the story and real life, Palahniuk said his goal in writing is to always increase the disguise to make his work not overly resemble actual events. “Working with comic book artists and people who are completely fearless in what they depict, I’m always wanting to go back into the screenplay and add every new outrageous, outlandish idea that comes to me, just to make it more shocking and endearing – and just to make it work better,” he said. “The comic book people have really inspired me.”
Among the greatest challenges facing Palahniuk, Mingo and producer Joshua Leake in bringing the novel to the silver screen is casting lead characters on a low budget, Mingo said. “We’re talking to a number of actors, and the casting is going to be really key to making this a great film,” he said.
On top of the Kickstarter backers, Palahniuk and Mingo said that they’ve been overwhelmed by the general support for the project from fans. “We gauge its importance based on how many ‘Lullaby’ tattoos we can find online,” Mingo said. “The importance of any of Chuck’s work can be correlated with the number of fan tattoos.”