Jack Black in Talks to Join Joaquin Phoenix in Gus Van Sant Film (Exclusive)

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival
Jack Black

Phoenix will play quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan in the biopic.

Jack Black is in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, the biopic about quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan.

Phoenix will play Callahan in the film, which will be directed by Gus Van Sant. Jonah Hill and Rooney Mara also are attached to the project that is being produced by Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Iconoclast Pictures’ Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Mourad Belkeddar and Nicolas Lhermitte. 

Following a troubled youth, Callahan became a quadriplegic at 21 years old after he was involved in a car accident following a day of drinking. He managed to rebuild his life to become an envelope-pushing cartoonist, drawing by clutching a pen between his two hands. He died in 2010 at the age of 59.

The film is a long-gestating passion project for Van Sant, who had at one time cast Robin Williams to play the lead.

Anonymous and Iconoclast declined to comment on Black's casting.

Black, known for his work in comedy, has been taking on an interesting mix of indie and studio projects. He most recently starred in indie The Polka King, which debuted at Sundance in January and also features Jenny Slate and Jason Schwartzman. Black also stars in Sony's Jumanji remake with Dwayne Johnson that is slated to open Dec. 22. He is repped by WME and Sloane, Offer.