Legendarily transgressive director John Waters is going back behind the camera after an eighteen-year absence. He is set to write and direct an adaptation of his own novel, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance. Deadline reports that Waters will write and direct Liarmouth for Village Roadshow Pictures.
Liarmouth is a “funny, filthy tale of sex, crime, and family dysfunction”, centering around Marsha “Liarmouth” Sprinkle, a con artist and luggage thief. Hated by everyone — including dogs, children, and her own family — she’s on the run and forced, for once in her life, to tell the truth. Directing for the first time since 2004’s A Dirty Shame, Waters stated that he was “thrilled to be back in the movie business, hopefully to spread demented joy to adventuresome moviegoers around the world.”
The Baltimore-based Waters first made his name with the micro-budget cult classic Pink Flamingos in 1972; a festival of depravity, it starred countercultural drag queen Divine, who would go on to star in most of Waters’ subsequent films until his death in 1988. The openly gay Waters delighted in shocking complacent audiences, assaulting their senses (and senses of decency) in any way possible; one of his films, 1981’s Polyester, was shot in “Odorama”, in which the audience was given scratch-and-sniff cards, allowing them to experience the movie’s most pungent moments. As Waters’ career stretched into the ’80s and ’90s, his films became slightly more mainstream, and attracted a devoted audience on VHS, including Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, and Hairspray; the latter was adapted into a successful Broadway musical, which was itself adapted into a movie in 2007.
Waters‘ memorable screen presence resulted in him making notable cameo appearances in films like Something Wild, Sweet and Lowdown, and Seed of Chucky; he also appeared on an acclaimed episode of The Simpsons, “Homer’s Phobia”, that won an Emmy and a GLAAD Media Award. His last film to date, A Dirty Shame, starring Tracy Ullman, Johnny Knoxville, and Selma Blair, was a return to his earlier, more shocking work; its failure at the box office put an end to any further cinematic projects from Waters, until now. He continued to write and act during his cinematic hiatus; he authored several books, guest-starred on Search Party, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and played one of his idols, gimmick-mad b-movie director William Castle, on Feud: Bette and Joan.
Waters‘ first novel, Liarmouth was published in May by Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Steve Rabineau will produce the adaptation alongside Village Roadshow Pictures.