Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg are attached to star in The End of the Tour, an adaptation of journalist David Lipsky‘s account of his five-day trip with David Foster Wallace during the last leg of the Infinite Jest book tour in 1996. I picture many long conversations in hotel rooms, but the book synopsis notes a few adventures for Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies to spice up the road trip script including a dash to the airport, an encounter with a “terrible reader,” and a Baptist church dance.
Segel is attached to play Wallace—Eisenberg will play Lipsky. According to The Wrap, James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) is attached to direct. Segel vs. Eisenberg and the focused biopic angle were likely enough, but signing Ponsoldt locks The End of the Tour as a project I look forward to. Production is tentatively scheduled to begin in February or March. Read the book synopsis after the break.
Here’s the synopsis for Lipsky’s Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace:
In David Lipsky’s view, David Foster Wallace was the best young writer in America. Wallace’s pieces for Harper’s magazine in the ’90s were, according to Lipsky, “like hearing for the first time the brain voice of everybody I knew: Here was how we all talked, experienced, thought. It was like smelling the damp in the air, seeing the first flash from a storm a mile away. You knew something gigantic was coming.”
Then Rolling Stone sent Lipsky to join Wallace on the last leg of his book tour for Infinite Jest, the novel that made him internationally famous. They lose to each other at chess. They get iced-in at an airport. They dash to Chicago to catch a make-up flight. They endure a terrible reader’s escort in Minneapolis. Wallace does a reading, a signing, an NPR appearance. Wallace gives in and imbibes titanic amounts of hotel television (what he calls an “orgy of spectation”). They fly back to Illinois, drive home, walk Wallace’s dogs. Amid these everyday events, Wallace tells Lipsky remarkable things—everything he can about his life, how he feels, what he thinks, what terrifies and fascinates and confounds him—in the writing voice Lipsky had come to love. Lipsky took notes, stopped envying him, and came to feel about him—that grateful, awake feeling—the same way he felt about Infinite Jest. Then Lipsky heads to the airport, and Wallace goes to a dance at a Baptist church.
A biography in five days, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself is David Foster Wallace as few experienced this great American writer. Told in his own words, here is Wallace’s own story, and his astonishing, humane, alert way of looking at the world; here are stories of being a young writer—of being young generally—trying to knit together your ideas of who you should be and who other people expect you to be, and of being young in March of 1996. And of what it was like to be with and—as he tells it—what it was like to become David Foster Wallace. [Amazon]