Jena Malone To Play Author Carson McCullers In Biopic 'Lonely Hunter'

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 7, 2011 3:14 AM
6 Comments
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While everyone else in their early twenties was busy going to school, partying, chasing boys (or girls) are doing all those things college folks tend to do, Carson McCullers wrote the stone-cold masterpiece "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," a novel containing the emotional depth, wisdom and tragic beauty of somebody three times her age of twenty-three. It was a her first novel, but was the building block of small, but pretty unrivalled body of some of the finest Southern-flavoured writing ever put on the page. And while we always worry when our favorite, beloved writers get brought to the big screen, the first bit of casting for the biopic "Lonely Hunter" indicates that the filmmakers are moving in the right direction.

Jena Malone will lead the Deborah Kampmeier (the Dakota Fanning gets raped movie "Hounddog") directed film about the writer's difficult life. McCullers was plagued by illness from a very young age, and in her twenties she suffered from a number of strokes, and by the age of 31 she was entirely paralyzed on the left side of her body. If that's not enough, she battled alcoholism, a suicide attempt and a rather torrid on again/off again marriage to Reeves McCullers who later took his own life. However, her talent brought her into select literary circles and she counted folks like W.H. Auden, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams among her friends.

McCullers is a difficult part to cast, but Malone is a pretty good fit for the part. She's certainly the right age and she's not a big, flashy A-list type name that would distract from portraying a quite fragile person. Moreover, we think she's got the chops to do the part justice so here's hoping the script will be up to scratch. It's another interesting movie for the actress who, aside from this year's egregious "Sucker Punch," has mostly been sticking with indie flicks with the lesbian werewolf thingy "Jack And Diane" and the long-ago-shot, and still-being-finished "For Ellen" with Paul Dano on the way.

Casting is still underway on the film, but it will go in front of cameras next spring. Until then, do yourself a favor and go to the library or bookstore or Kindle or whatever and catch up with McCullers. She only wrote four novels in her lifetime before passing away at the age of 50 and they are all pretty damn exceptional. Yes, there have been some movie versions, but they don't come close to the books so you'd be best off to start there. Can you tell we're excited for this one?

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More: Actresses, Jena Malone

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6 Comments

  • ernest schoenmakers | April 8, 2014 7:40 AMReply

    HELLO, KEVIN JAGERNAUTH to earth please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ernest schoenmakers | March 31, 2014 9:26 AMReply

    KEVIN JAGERNAUTH are you still there cause i want an update about the movie Lonely Hunter, i mean, is it already finished shooting and if so, where can i purchase it?

  • ernest schoenmakers | March 17, 2014 4:03 PMReply

    First of all i want to correct something about the movie Jack and Diane, this beautiful actress named Jena Malone is NOT in it OR her scene must have been deleted. Secondly she also played alongside David Morse in Contact which was a great movie(scifi-genre) and she did an amazing job portraying young Jody Foster. Sucker Punch was a highly underrated movie with a plot not being spoonfed to the audience that's quite original. Jena Malone portraying Rocket was the best of the cast.

  • jingmei | October 8, 2011 3:05 AMReply

    compared with flicks something like Sucker Punch, this is more suitable or challenging to maybe this former child star.

  • Bum Turbon: Attorney at Law | October 7, 2011 10:03 AMReply

    Her life sounds fascinating and should hopefully make for an intriguing film, even though embarrassingly I'm not familiar with her work. I have been a big fan of Jena Malone's since 'Confessions of an American Girl'. It's nice to see her get a meatier part than usually does.

  • Mel_M | October 7, 2011 10:02 AMReply

    While I have some issues (I have issues with most movies--especially plotholes) with Deborah Kampmeier's "Hounddog," I certainly don't have an issue with the rape scene. It was emotionally powerful, and, IMO, very well done; it's not hard to see how the scene could have been shot in pieces and put together in editing. Fanning herself said that none of the kids "went through anything ...it's called acting." The movie is highly underrated and there were really great performances by Fanning (at 12 1/2) and the adult actors: Piper Laurie, David Morse, Robin Wright,and Afemo Omilami. Every one of them, including Kampmeier, should feel proud of "Hounddog." I was lucky enough to buy the film at iTunes while it was still there, and I've no idea why it hasn't returned. Yes, I'd go seen another Kampmeier movie.

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