Jesse Eisenberg had no idea that the estate of David Foster Wallace objected to the production of his upcoming film about the late writer, “The End of the Tour,” but he’s certain that it’s a fair depiction of the “Infinite Jest” author, nonetheless.
Eisenberg, who is in the midst of promoting his new dark dramedy “The Double,” responded with total surprise when TheWrap asked about the David Foster Wallace Literary Trust’s strong objection to the film, in which Eisenberg stars as David Lipsky, a journalist who accompanies Wallace (played by Jason Segel) during his promotional tour for “Infinite Jest.”
“It’s based on these interviews that my character did with David Foster Wallace,” Eisenberg said. “The script is almost verbatim, it’s based on these interviews and I have the tapes. So whether or not it’s sanctioned, it’s a fairly accurate depiction of what occurred. I have the tapes and the dialogue is from the tapes.”
The tapes became the basis for the 2010 best-seller “Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself.” Wallace’s estate is none-too-pleased with the movie adaptation of those tapes, which it says they tried to stop.
“The trust was given no advance notice that this production was underway and, in fact, first heard of it when it was publicly announced,” a spokesman said last month. “For the avoidance of doubt, there is no circumstance under which the David Foster Wallace Literary Trust would have consented to the adaptation of this interview into a motion picture, and we do not consider it an homage.”
Still, Eisenberg was quite enthralled by the source material, marveling at the author’s clarity and mind.
“He speaks in such an interesting way, because he speaks not only in full sentences, he speaks in full metaphors,” Eisenberg, himself a rapid speaker (and faster thinker) who hardly breathes between sentences, said of Wallace. “He’s one of these brilliant people; you hear Bill Clinton speak, he’ll take a little pause before he says something and then he’ll come out with this beautiful, well-thought out sentence. Wallace was like that, he’d take a little pause before he says something and then he comes out with something that’s so well-reasoned and so thought out. It’s the opposite of how I speak, which is very quickly with very pauses and no metaphors.”