New Regency has acquired the film rights to the long-gestating adaptation of Richard Brautigan’s Gothic Western novel The Hawkline Monster which the legendary Hal Ashby had been trying to get to the big screen, Deadline has confirmed. Roy Lee (It), Andrew Trapani (Winchester), and Steven Schneider (Pet Sematary) will serve as producers.
The Harold & Maude filmmaker first acquired The Hawkline Monster in 1975, a year after the book was published and attempted to adapt it into a film. Various stars were attached including Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman as well as Jeff and Beau Bridges. Following the death of Brautigan in 1984 and then Ashby in 1988, Tim Burton fell in line to develop the project for Nicholson and Clint Eastwood. The adaptive rights then fell into limbo between the Ashby and Brautigan estates for decades before New Regency picked up the rights.
The Hawkline Monster tells the story of two unlikely hero gunslingers hired by a fifteen-year-old girl named Magic Child to kill the monster that lives in the caves under the basement of one Miss Hawkline’s house.
Ashby’s estate is repped by Michael Sherman. Brautigan’s estate is repped by Joel Behr.