The ‘Fight Club’ Sequel Plot is a Hollywood Studio’s Dream

By  · Published on November 27th, 2013

If you’re like me, you’re still struggling a bit with the pessimistic promise and optimistic despair of a Fight Club sequel in graphic novel form. It could be a towering tack-on to a beloved cult classic (that comes in both paper and celluloid) or it could derail the legacy of Cornelius. Or Rupert. Or whatever that guy’s name was.

Unfortunately, that queasy feeling hasn’t been ameliorated by Chuck Palahniuk’s recent explanation of the plot. From Hustler Magazine (via The Cult):

“The sequel will be told from the – at first – submerged perspective of Tyler Durden as he observes the day-to-day tedium of the narrator’s life. Because 20th Century-Fox created the convention of calling the protagonist Jack, I’m calling him Cornelius. He’s living a compromised life with a failing marriage, unsure about his passion for his wife. The typical midlife bullshit. Likewise, Marla is unsatisfied and dreams of accessing the wild man she’d once fallen in love with. She tampers with the small pharmacy of drugs that her husband needs to suppress Tyler, and – go figure – Tyler reemerges to terrorize their lives.”

First Beetlejuice, and now this.

The hitch to the negativity is this: In Palahniuk We Trust. It’ll be intriguing to see how his minimalist approach translates to the comic book medium, and if there’s anyone who understands the fragility of the characters he’s created vis a vis the public perception, it’s the man who made us love cornflower blue. Plus, this is merely the barest bones of what insanity could lie ahead. Palahniuk’s sleeves are big enough to be hiding a lot.

On the other hand, it’s the kind of synopsis a Hollywood studio slathers over. Generic-sounding, an auto-filled form that’s kept in a folder marked “What We Do If We Need a Sequel.” Marla and Narrator got married? But things aren’t going so hot for them? They need Beetlejuice Tyler Durden back in their lives? Excellent. Let’s set it up.

That, the name-recognition, the decade-later timing, and the ability to slap “Based on the Graphic Novel” on ads has me convinced that we’ll see a movie deal set soon before or after publication.

Part of me bristles at that possibility, but the other part wants to wait for the sequel to see what kind of cinematic potential it might have. The ultimate point being that another adventure with the Fight Club gang is a thrilling, terrifying prospect.

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.