By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 26, 2011 at 12:47AM
Emile Hirsch is getting ready to go on the lam.
Variety reports that the actor has joined gestating project "The Motel Life" for producers Alan and Gabriel Polsky ("Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans," "Little Birds"). Based on the novel by Willy Vlautin, the story "centers on two brothers who flee their Reno motel room after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident." Sounds like some solid material, and while the plan is to shoot the film this year, there are still some major hurdles to clear. A director, screenwriter and co-stars all need to be found (though the Polskys may take on the first two jobs themselves).
It's been a couple of years sine we last saw Hirsch on screen in Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock," but he's got a couple of pictures coming up including William Friedkin's dark comedy "Killer Joe" and the alien invasion pic "The Darkest Hour" with Olivia Thirlby. You can check out the book synopsis for "The Motel Life" below:
In a gritty debut, Vlautin explores a few weeks in the broken lives of two working-class brothers, Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan, who abruptly ditch their Reno motel after Jerry Lee drunkenly kills a boy on a bicycle in a hit-and-run. The two are case studies in hard luck: their mother died when they were 14 and 16, respectively; their father is an ex-con deadbeat; neither finished high school. Frank has had just one girlfriend, motel neighbor Annie, whose mother is an abusive prostitute. An innocent simpleton, Jerry Lee is left feeling suicidal after the accident, despite his younger brother's efforts (à la Of Mice and Men's Lenny and George) to console him: "It was real quiet, the way he cried," says Frank, "like he was whimpering." On returning to Reno, an eventual reckoning awaits them. Vlautin's coiled, poetically matter-of-fact prose calls to mind S.E. Hinton—a writer well-acquainted with male misfit protagonists seeking redemption, no matter how destructive. Despite the bleak story and its inevitably tragic ending, Vlautin, who plays in the alt-country band Richmond Fontaine, transmits a quiet sense of resilience and hopefulness.