As far as 20th century literary figures go, few are held in high repute as much as the late David Foster Wallace (1962-2008). Unsurprisingly, then, people have had a desire to further understand and process the man and his work, which in part explains the decision to make a film wherein he is a main figure. James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour is such a film; an adaptation of David Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, it tells the story of a road trip Lipsky takes with Wallace while the latter is on a book tour. Jesse Eisenberg plays Lipsky, and Jason Segel takes on the lofty task of portraying Wallace.
Watch the trailer below:
The End of the Tour, released by A24, will see its wide release on 31 July in the United States.
Importantly, there is controversy regarding the film coming from an official statement made by Wallace’s estate. When The End of the Tour was announced, they put out the following statement:
The David Foster Wallace Literary Trust, David’s family, and David’s longtime publisher Little, Brown and Company wish to make it clear 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 Trust was given no advance notice that this production was underway and, in fact, first heard of it when it was publicly announced. 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.
What effect this will have, if any, on the status of The End of the Tour is unclear as of now.