House of Leaves is a club. If you’ve read author Mark Z. Danielewski’s challenging horror novel than you know what I mean. The dense and frequently confounding text is prone to conspiracy, and has developed a cult-like fascination on the internet. Since its publication in 2000, readers have flocked to message boards to parse out the text. It’s a haunted house story unlike any other, featuring annotations and strange arrangements of words. It’s not easy to read, and it seems even less easy to adapt into any other medium.
But Danielewski is up for the challenge. Last year, he tweeted out a link to a House of Leaves pilot script he wrote himself. The 62-page treatment took a wild approach to the material, making the events of the book reality and inserting Danielewski as a character. Now, he’s written three new scripts and put them on his Patreon. They contain a brand new pilot and two follow-up episodes.
Some helpful links . . .
HOUSE OF LEAVES pilot script PDFhttps://t.co/foFriJWKdV
ONLY REVOLUTIONS Book Club (begins 7/9)https://t.co/kKBXexgRpM
THE FAMILIAR giveaway for new readershttps://t.co/7FeUsi5Tl7
— Mark Z. Danielewski (@markdanielewski) July 3, 2018
This news comes via Birth.Movies.Death, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Fans will get a deeper look into Danielewski’s odd and labyrinthine mind. The story will live on in this new iteration. And maybe, just maybe, someone will get their hands on the scripts and finally bring this puzzling book to screens.
If you’re unfamiliar with House of Leaves, here’s a very brief summary from the publisher: “A young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.”
That’s only a small piece of the narrative puzzle that is House of Leaves. The story is relayed to us via a document discovered by a character named Johnny Truant. Truant is a drug-addicted, possibly mentally ill tattoo artist and a classic unreliable narrator. He enters the apartment of a recently deceased man named Zampanò who left behind a chilling academic study of a documentary film called The Navidson Record. The film tells the story of the Navidson family and their impossibly structured farmhouse in Virginia. As Truant reads the study, he slips into a mania of sorts, which is reflected by the physical layout of the book.
Just got the first 3 episodes of the script for @markdanielewski‘s #HouseOfLeaves via @Patreon. I really wish this made it into production! Such a brilliant adaptation. Get involved @bjornhalldors pic.twitter.com/0zpHZOgBEG
— テクスチャ ( tǝxturǝ ) (@t3xtur3) November 30, 2019
If that all sounds disorienting and cryptic, well, that’s House of Leaves. You can see why it’s nearly impossible to film, as is. But Birth.Movies.Death’s brief summary of the scripts—which you can purchase for $9—implies that Danielewski cracked the problem himself. They compare the scripts to Mulholland Drive and Lost, and says that the story unfolds just as densely in script form as it does in the novel.
There are no current plans to bring House of Leaves to the small screen, but Danielewski has plans to write a full season of scripts if they generate enough interest. Um, yes please. And while you’re at it, someone greenlit a full show pronto.
Featured Image: Pantheon