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John Waters to Write and Direct ‘Liarmouth’ from His Own Novel

Waters' latest directorial effort was nearly 20 years ago with 2004's "A Dirty Shame."

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08:  Director John Waters arrives at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

John Waters


After almost two decades away, John Waters is returning to directing.

Acclaimed cult filmmaker Waters will write and direct the adaptation of his novel “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance,” as Deadline first reported. Village Roadshow Pictures has optioned the novel, with Steve Rabineau producing.

Waters most recently helmed “A Dirty Shame” in 2004.

“‘Liarmouth’ is the craziest thing I’ve written in a while so maybe it’s fitting that my novel was shocking enough to jumpstart the engine of my film career,” Waters said. “Thrilled to be back in the movie business, hopefully to spread demented joy to adventuresome moviegoers around the world.”

“Liarmouth” follows con artist Marsha Sprinkle, who is described as “a suitcase thief, scammer, and master of disguise. Dogs and children hate her. Her own family wants her dead. She’s smart, she’s desperate, she’s disturbed, and she’s on the run with a big chip on her shoulder. They call her Liarmouth―until one insane man makes her tell the truth.”

The novel was published in May 2022 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Waters also celebrated the 50th anniversary of “Pink Flamingos” this year. While Waters said that “Pink Flamingos” is a “time capsule of lunacy,” the auteur noted “Liarmouth” took three years to write and is a “pretty crazy” story that he hopes he can “get away with.”

“It’s about a woman who steals suitcases in airports, and she’s a very disagreeable character. You will like her because she’s so unlikeable,” Water told IndieWire. “I didn’t have to worry about budget. I didn’t have to worry about casting. I didn’t have to worry about the children, and how they have to only work four hours a day and have a schoolteacher. All that kind of stuff I don’t have to worry about, so I could really be free to explore this insane universe that I set up in the book. That’s the only thing you have to stay true to. No matter how crazy the plot or how much fun you make of narrative and everything, it still has to be true to the world that you set up in the book.”

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