Confession time… My all-time favorite book is Bright Lights, Big City written by Jay McInerney. I think I first read it during my first year of college, maybe two years after it was originally published. It’s one of the few books that I’ve read more than once, and I’ve bought multiple copies after loaning it to friends to read. Alright, here’s another confession… I even liked the movie Bright Lights, Big City that starred Michael J. Fox and Kiefer Sutherland. Sure, the movie was flawed — most of the cast and crew involved with the production have admitted as much. The production was troubled, to say the least, and it showed on the big screen. In the end, the film was pretty much considered a bust — but I liked it. My fondness for the film is probably related to my deep love and admiration for the source material, I’ll admit it.
If you’re not familiar with the novel Bright Lights, Big City it was published in 1984 and written in the second person. The main character, who is not given a name in the book — thus essentially making the reader the main character, is a disillusioned writer that spends his days as a fact checker for a New York magazine. At night, he uses alcohol, drugs, and the ’80s party scene to shake off the thoughts of his failed marriage, life back home, and the inability to be the writer he dreamed of becoming.
According to Variety, it now appears that MGM is going to give Bright Lights, Big City another shot at the big screen. This time around, the co-creator of Chuck, Gossip Girl, and creator of The O.C., Josh Schwartz has been tapped to write and make his feature directorial debut with a “fresh take” on McInerney’s novel. My concern is that Schwartz isn’t sure if he’ll set the movie in the original time period of the 1980s or a more contemporary setting. I’m hoping for the former — the time period is a character all in its self in Bright Lights, Big City. But having created such shows as The O.C. and Gossip Girl, it looks like this next cinematic take on my all-time favorite novel is in capable hands with Josh Schwartz.