The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and Letterman’s Ruprecht Co-Write Chuck Klosterman Movie


They may not look it, but few know rock and roll like Chuck Klosterman and Craig Finn. This in mind, we are reassured to know that the pair, along with Tom Ruprecht, a long time Letterman writer, will be joining task to produce the coming-of-age with rock-and-roll film Fargo Rock City. The movie will find inspiration in Klosterman’s 2001 memoir of the same title, which explores Klosterman’s experience growing up as a heavy metal fan in a North Dakota, and how music helped him to transcend. Or as the subtitle reads, his “Heavy Metal Odyssey in North Dakota.”

Risky Business is reporting that the screenplay will revolve around the scene Klosterman’s novel sets: ’80s geeky high school seniors listening to music and trying to get girls. The music talk, however, will be “turned down.” As Rupercht says, “Heavy metal is kind of a common bond among a group of friends. It’s the language that they speak. But this will also be a universal story of dorky kids trying to be cool.” What Klosterman articulates in sentences will be “lived” out by the kids on the screen — if all goes well, that is.

Over at Idolator, Maura voiced concern that this backgrounding of music will lead to just another teenage angst-fueled comedy. Rightly, she mocks, “Wow, a coming-of-age movie about dorky dudes looking to ‘be cool,’ and, no doubt, score the right hot lady?” She’s right: we’ve all seen this movie, again and again. But with these guys at the helm, there is reason to believe this take will be worth the watch.

Craig Finn, frontman of bar-stool rock band Hold Steady, is as much a writer as he is a rocker. Weaving myths of youth and rock and roll, Finn makes jukebox ready music about growing up listening to rock and roll on the jukebox. He is, in a sense, living the world Klosterman escaped to with music.

When he sings, “Kids out on the east coast, roughly twenty years old, get coaxed out by a certain perfect ratio, of… Meat Loaf to the Billy Joel, certain songs, they get scratched into our souls,” we can’t help but feel they are on the same page, and more importantly, we can’t help but relate. If anything, scribing the delicate tale of growing up with and through music is what Finn and Klosterman do best.

Currently, Rupert and Finn are working on the first draft of the screenplay, and when that’s done, they will seek financial backing. Would you invest?