Jason Segel Cast as David Foster Wallace in ‘The End of the Tour’ Biopic

Jason Segel

Late literary genius David Foster Wallace is, well, a genius. The award-winning American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and professor is responsible for probably the most important novel in the past 20 years, Infinite Jest, if not longer than that. So when directors were looking to cast someone as Wallace for their upcoming film, they went with none other than… Jason Segel?

According to The Wrap, director James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now) is in charge of the biopic, which is an adaptation of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. The screenplay is written by Pulitzer-winning playwright Donald Margulies (Dinner With Friends) and will be titled The End of the Tour. Jesse Eisenberg will star alongside Segel as David Lipsky, the Rolling Stone reporter who spent five days with Wallace during his 1996 press tour for Infinite Jest and then wrote a long, well-respected piece about it after Wallace’s suicide in 2008.

Take a look at the book’s summary on Amazon and you’ll know it’s filled with lots of everyday events (chess, missing flights, dealing with fans) as well as some heavy thinking, like what scares the author about life and some competition between the two writers. Considering that Lipsky joined Wallace right when he was coming into fame, the film will show some interesting sides of Wallace.

If you’re like me, then even more shocking than Segel being cast as Wallace–despite his good run at more serious roles in the past few years (I love you, Jason; I really do. But how can anyone take you seriously for the first 10 minutes of the film? )–is the proximity of this film to Wallace’s death. It’s been five years, but it still feels too soon.

That being said, the book is made mainly from an interview transcript, providing plenty of quotes and words taken directly from Wallace to make the film more accurate, and the author’s massive role in the literary world will have Ponsoldt acting carefully with the film overall (or so I hope).

Comment and let us know what you think: will Jason Segel rep the Infinite Jest author, or will his ties to comedy make things feel off? 

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