In an October 18, 1992, Dallas Morning News story I cannot find online, Bill Minutaglio wrote a farewell to Ron Woodroof, who Minutaglio described as a "combative ex-electrician who had achieved some measure of notoriety around the country as a smuggler who had never been caught." Woodroof was indeed a well-known peddler of illegal narcotics -- specifically, non-government-approved drugs that Dallas AIDS patients were using to stay alive long after doctors had told them to go home and die. Woodroof's story was a particularly compelling one: A heterosexual, homphobic electrician, he contracted HIV in 1980, was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986 and eventually went on to found the famous Dallas Buyer's Club through which AIDS patients bought their life-prolonging meds.
For several years, a screenplay about Woodroof has been circulating throughout Hollywood: In 2002, a script by Guillermo Arriaga (Babel, 21 Grams) was sold to Universal. (Arriaga had reworked an earlier screeplay by Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack.) Attached to direct was Marc Forster (Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland), and, it says way back here, "Brad Pitt has showed some interest in the lead role."
Well, if the latest issue of Time is any indication, the years-in-the-making project is a little closer to go than stop-and-wait: In a story about the Holy Trinity of hot Mexican filmmakers -- Babel's Alejandro Gonz�lez I��rritu, Pan's Labyrinth's Guillermo del Toro and Children of Men's Alfonso Cuar�n -- Richard Corless writes: "Arriaga has written a true-life AIDS drama, The Dallas Buyer's Club, which is to star and be produced by a member of the Babel ensemble: Brad Pitt." The Internet Movie Database has it listed as a 2008 release -- and it also has a comment from someone insisting this is the sequel to Fight Club. So, believe what you must. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.