Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters Gets a Director

There was a time when any announcement about a Chuck Palahniuk book being adapted for the big screen might have seemed exciting, but 12 years after the release of Fight Club, I’m starting to think that some of the luster has worn off. I was a fan of Chucky P.’s earlier work, but somehow it seems that the more he branches out and experiments with his writing, the more his edginess is beginning to feel forced. After Clark Gregg turned in a serviceable yet ultimately bland version of Choke, it reinforced the fact that without someone like David Fincher at the helm, his books do not automatically become cinematic masterpieces. Now Palahniuk’s third book Invisible Monsters is about to make the jump to the screen, and the man who will make it happen is TV director Samir Rehem (Degrassi: The Next Generation, Skins). Yay?

Invisible Monsters was Palahniuk’s third published book, although it was actually the second thing he wrote (prior to Fight Club even). Apparently publishers initially found it too disturbing… at least, until they realized that kind of stuff actually sells. The plot revolves around a former fashion model who becomes horribly disfigured in an accident. A movie adaptation has been in development for years now, with Jessica Biel rumoured to be circling the project once upon a time. Something tells me this new version will not have much in the way of A-list talent.

Other Palahniuk adaptations currently in the works include Snuff (director: Fabien Martorell) and Haunted (director: Koen Mortier). It’s too bad that his adaptations aren’t able to secure bigger name talent at this point, but perhaps one of these directors will surprise us. I’d still really like to see Survivor happen one day, and as far as I know Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) is still attached to direct. Are you looking forward to an Invisible Monsters movie?

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  • Could not agree with you about Chuck Palahniuk’s novels. I enjoyed them, but since the latter half of the the 00s, his work has become unbearable. It started with Haunted which tried to do nothing but shock for the sake of shocking.

    And yeah, it does take a great director to actually translate his work onto screen. Choke was a piece of white bread with mayonnaise spread on it.

    On a side note: I’m not sure if Koen Mortier is still directing Haunted. I think he would bring something interesting to the table if gets to direct it, even though I hated the novel. I see in your other post that you weren’t too impressed with the trailer of Ex-Drummer. I know it’s just an opinion, but I’d definitely recommend that you see it if you like things which are gritty, stylish, and laced with humour that’s relentlessly black.

  • Tomoo

    I also agree on his later works feeling like they are trying too hard. Survivor is probably my favorite of his books but that would probably be a hard one to get made into a film these days.

  • Napalm

    I heard that this is one of his best books. Is it true?

  • Bocuma

    I think Invisible Monsters is one of the worst of his books. It’s not bad really, but reading it after a bunch of other Palahniuk’s books, it didn’t really bring any new ideas or thoughts to the disturbed table.

    I’m not really that eager to see any of his books turned into movies anymore. They work as books, but you have to get some real talent to turn them into movies that work on their own…

    My favorite books from Palahniuk are Haunted, Snuff, Choke and Fight Club. I could see Snuff made into a film, but Haunted has such a twisted world that it should be left alone.

  • fatbologna

    I thought Haunted was terrible. Invisible Monsters is probably tied for favorite with Survivor. My hopes aren’t high for this film though and I agree that the man’s lost his luster of late for sure.

  • I agree that Palahnuik’s later work is for the most part lesser than his first few books, with two exceptions: Rant, and Pygmy. Pygmy was pure brilliance, if you can wrap your mind around the odd stilted writing style.

    Invisible Monsters was a good book, with many cool twists and revelations. I’m just not sure how well those twists would work on film, as character revelations would not be a shock because you would be seeing them as they are from the beginning, not as the writer chooses to reveal them.

    I’m not holding out much hope for this film.

  • Fight Club is a bit of a mess for a book, Fincher really polished the shit out of it and made it something greater than it is. Invisible Monsters is a terrific book, but I agree it would be tough to make into a movie with any sort of known stars without it revealing to many of the plot twists.

    Frankly I always thought Lullaby would make for a fun film.

  • Fatbologna


    I agree with you on Fight Club. It seems like a template for themes and characters that he used to better effect in later books. I also think you’re right about Invisible Monsters and Lullaby although I don’t really think ANY of his book are all that cinematic to begin with.

  • Malachi Rodriguez

    What even happened to this?!?! I need it!!!