I have been known to give David Benioff a hard time whenever there’s an announcement that he’s working on a script. See, I think Benioff’s debut novel, The 25th Hour, is one of the great modern New York City novels. And I think his short story collection, When the Nines Roll Over (And Other Stories), features some real gems. Benioff’s one of the most interesting voices in modern fiction, and seeing him spend a lot of time working on Hollywood stuff means he’s not working on literary stuff. The good news is that Benioff currently has a free pass from me because he has a new novel coming next year.
But there’s even better news – Benioff’s next script is going to be an adaptation of Heavier Than Heaven, the excellent Charles Cross biography of Kurt Cobain. I’m a big Cobain fan, and have been ever since I first heard Bleach. The prospect of the inevitable Cobain biopic has made me nervous, but it seems like the suprisingly shrewd handling of the Nirvana catalog has stymied previous attempts to bring Kurt’s life to the screen. Of course that didn’t stop Gus Van Sant from making the excellent Last Days, but I think the vagueness of the main character – he’s mostly Kurt but not quite – helps the film.
Nobody seems to know if this film, which is being made by Universal and Working Title, will have Nirvana songs, but since Courtney Love is exec producing, I imagine it must. I’ve got feelers out to try and confirm this, but who knows if anybody will respond. It’s hard to picture a decent Cobain movie WITHOUT Nirvana songs, unless the film isn’t going to extend to his famous years. However it all works out, I’m glad that Benioff is on board, and I’m excited for his take. Personally I’ve always felt that the moral of Kurt Cobain’s life is that the only way to prove that you mean it is to die.
There’s no official casting yet, but a long time ago we told you that Love wanted Ewan McGregor to play Kurt.