Here’s another hot ticket out of this year’s Sundance, acquired by distributor A24 as the fest was getting under way. The End of the Tour is based on David Lipsky’s book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. The trip was arranged as an interview Lipsky undertook for Rolling Stone after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s Infinite Jest. The movie stars an almost unrecognizable (and seemingly unlikely) Jason Segel as the acclaimed novelist and Jesse Eisenberg (typically quirky) as Lipsky.
Lipsky/Eisenberg describes what he sees as the mood on the trip: “He wants something better than he has. I want precisely what he has already.” Lipsky wrote his book using his notes and transcript from the interview that never made it into print. The book was published in 2010. Wallace commited suicide in 2008.
As might be expected, the movie struck a nerve among Wallace’s family, his literary trust and publisher. As filming got under way, they asserted in a statement published in the Los Angeles Times in April 2014 “that they have no connection with, and neither endorse nor support The End of the Tour. This motion picture is loosely based on transcripts from an interview David consented to eighteen years ago for a magazine article about the publication of his novel, Infinite Jest. That article was never published and David would never have agreed that those saved transcripts could later be repurposed as the basis of a movie.”
The movie was directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) with screenplay adapted by Donald Margulies. It hits theaters July 31.