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CATFISH directors Joost and Schulman to write and direct THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG

Brad McHargue

May 7th, 2012


I loved CATFISH, the "is it real or fake?" documentary from directing team Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. It was sad, heartfelt, and at times downright terrifying, with their blurring of the lines of reality and pure fiction resulting in a downright intriguing film. Their take on the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise managed to inject new life into the franchise that was dangerously close to running stale, and since then they have solidified themselves as hot commodities. After PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4, which is due out this October, it appears the duo's next film with be an adaptation of the '70s novel The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey.

Written in 1975, the novel follows a gang of four guys who try to battle over-development in the American West in the '70s. They do this with bumbling attempts at sabotage, attacking deserted bulldozers, construction equipment and trains, with a vow they will not harm a human, animal, plant, or rock. Well, three of the quartet take that to heart; the fourth, a young Vietnam vet named Hayduke, wants to blow shit up.

Joost and Schulman appear to have a sense of humor about their partnership, stating, "People often ask us why we work together and as Edward Abbey used to say, 'one man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.'"

The project is led by Edward R. Pressman, who is producing the film with Grammy-winning album cover artist Gary Burden. Pressman believes that "Henry and Ariel’s approach to the film adaptation will connect to the humor and cultural zeitgeist of today in the same way Abbey’s book does. I’m delighted to collaborate with them on this irreverent comedy."

Joost and Schulman's most recent work was the short film A BRIEF HISTORY OF JOHN BALDESSARI, which premiered in the 2012 SXSW documentary short competition. Pressman is currently working on rebooting THE CROW and BLOODSPORT.


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