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Gus Van Sant’s long-brewing biopic of quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan is coming back to life.
Joaquin Phoenix is attached to star in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, an adaptation of Callahan’s memoir. Steve Golin is producing via Anonymous Content, as is Iconoclast Films.
Callahan became an alcoholic at the age of 12, a drug abuser in his mid-teens and a quadriplegic at 21 after being involved in a car accident after a day of drinking. He managed to rebuild his life to become an envelope-pushing cartoonist, learning to use both hands to draw, for example, and also reconciling with members of his family.
Robin Williams was a fan — the comedian provided the introduction to Callahan’s book Will the Real John Callahan Please Stand Up? — and in the late 1990s tried to adapt Don’t Worry. Williams was attached to star and produce the project that was for several years set up at Columbia.
Van Sant, Callahan’s fellow Portlander, was attached to direct the project in the early 2000s before it fell by the wayside. Callahan died in 2010.
If the project comes together smoothly, it will mark Van Sant and Phoenix’s first reteaming since the actor’s breakout in 1995’s To Die For.
Phoenix and Van Sant are repped by WME.
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