David Foster Wallace Estate Opposed to Jason Segel Biopic & No, It's Not Just About that Photo
But are you seriously surprised? David Foster Wallace's estate is not connected to the biopic, The End of The Tour, which stars Jason Segel as the regaled writer. Not only has his estate chosen to not identify with the movie, they're not supporting it — in fact, they're pretty much against it. A statement was released on Monday that said:
The David Foster Wallace Literary Trust, David's family, and David's longtime publisher Little, Brown and Company wish to make it clear that they have no connection with, and neither endorse nor support "The End of the Tour." This motion picture is loosely based on transcripts from an interview David consented to eighteen years ago for a magazine article about the publication of his novel, "Infinite Jest." That article was never published and David would never have agreed that those saved transcripts could later be repurposed as the basis of a movie. The Trust was given no advance notice that this production was underway and, in fact, first heard of it when it was publicly announced. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no circumstance under which the David Foster Wallace Literary Trust would have consented to the adaptation of this interview into a motion picture, and we do not consider it an homage.
So, that is pretty clearly a denouncement of the entire film, which may or may not sway the way reviewers and audience members view it. But again, are you surprised? You saw that photo of Segel in his DFW attire, as did the rest of the Internet. Maybe the estate didn't take too kindly to it — or maybe they weren't too fond of the casting choice.
It seemed relatively clear that it was an adaptation of David Lipsky's book, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace, therefore, told from Lipsky's POV. Still, the estate was unlikely to support it. To Wallace's estate, it may have seemed like an excuse for folks unassociated with Wallace or his family to make money off of him.
But that's not going to stop people — both Segel fans and Wallace fans alike — from lining up to see the film. Like, I totally had a collection of unauthorized Backstreet Boys biographies when I was a tween. So, I guess we should gear up for the unauthorized, unaffiliated David Foster Wallace movie.