Daniel Clowes’ recent graphic novel Wilson will be adapted into a possible film project for Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt), whose yen for stories about sad little middle-aged people has perhaps never been more appropriately applied. For those who haven’t read it, Wilson concerns a vaguely misanthropic loner with a conflicting desire to make human connections, which he typically accomplishes by engaging them in one-sided conversations where he first overshares and then insults them by trying to be funny. (It’s the story of the Internet, in other words.) The book follows Wilson as he attempts to reconnect with his ex-wife and discovers the teenage daughter he never had, who was given up for adoption after his divorce.
Like a lot of Clowes’ books, it’s not so much “funny ha-ha” as “funny the human existence is pointless and deeply pathetic,” which makes it perfect for Payne’s particular sensibilities. Unfortunately for fans of Clowes, this probably means he’ll spend the next several years putting together “annotated screenplay” editions of Wilson or something instead of writing something new, but the guy’s done some amazing work already, so whatever.