The Monkey Wrench Gang: The Movie

Edward Abbey’s eco-sabotage classic, The Monkey Wrench Gang, is coming to the silver screen. While the idea of an Abbey book becoming a movie is wonderful, I’m not so into the cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jack Nicholson, Richard Dreyfuss, John Goodman, and Elizabeth Shue.

I assume that Goodman will play George Hayduke, a pissed off bearded ex-green beret who measures distances between two places by how many six packs he can drink while driving. Hayduke is out for the blood of those destroying his beloved desert and will for sure be the main character.

My other guesses are Dreyfuss as Doc Sarvis (not horrible), Shue as Bonnie Abzug (Abzug is just 28 years old and her age plays an important role in her relationship with Abzug. Shue is 46) and McConaughey as Seldon Seen Smith. Whoever Jack Nicholson is, he’ll fuck it up, guarantee it.

The director? Catherine Hardwicke, of Twilight fame. Weiiiiiiiiird.

Anyone know more than me?

Look: The Monkey Wrench gang on


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25 Responses to The Monkey Wrench Gang: The Movie

  1. daniel June 1, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    “(the Failure To Launch star is 40)”

    look at you going all pro…

    more prizes!

  2. christine Boepple June 5, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    after watching the trailer for this, i’m up for anything with MM

    PS – i think you might like my blog

  3. Hanly June 14, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    I has something of interest for you, Jeff. Inquire inside for further information. And by inside, I mean come visit me at my desk tomorrow.

  4. Nexyoo August 10, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    This is an interesting line of actors for this Hollywood classic. Hopefully they don’t butcher it like some movie classic remakes.

  5. Hayduke October 25, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    Whattt? Have you read the book? McConaughey would most definitely NOT fit the role of Hayduke. I always pictured Seldom Seen Smith’s character as a McConaughey or Owen Wilson type (based on the descriptions of them in the book). Hayduke is described as ‘big’, ‘squat’, and ‘broad shouldered’, not a tall skinny blonde surfer dude.

  6. Lew November 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    Agreed. John Goodman is who I pictured as Hayduke. The books description definitely fits his build. I think they picked a great lineup for the movie and I’m excited to see it (if it ever comes out). I’ve been checking the status on this movie for at least the past two years and there doesn’t seem to be much publicity about when it will be released.

  7. Nate February 3, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    I’ve been doing some research on this movie and from what I can tell they are COMPLETELY butchering it. While the exact roles of each actor have not been fully disclosed, I don’t see any place for most of them in the story. Dreyfuss as Doc is the only seemingly reasonable fit. McConaughey definitely isn’t a good fit for Hayduke, but could be an annoying version of Seldom Seen. And what the hell is Jack Nicholson doing in there? It doesn’t appear to me that the writer’s of the movie ever took the time to read the book. They probably just looked it up on Wikipedia and called it good. Bastards.

  8. keepitlikeitwas February 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Goodman has to be bishop Love…. come on now.

  9. lisa February 21, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    No. no no no no no.

    Making a movie out of the Monkey Wrench Gang is more or less slaping Edward Abbey in the face, cutting off his ever rugged balls and hanging them on Hoover Dam.

    I disagree.

    The book was a statment of what our world is becoming. put it in a movie and that is just proving his point more.

    how bout we blow up the film crews instead of the caterpillar equipment ? ya?

  10. lisa February 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    not that proving his point is a bad thing.
    allow me to rephrase:

    making a movie would be hypritical

  11. smith February 22, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    I thought someone in “Hwoodacudashuda” would have done this movie long ago. I agree it is “hyperhipicritical” but even Mr. Ed Abbey did book tours. No one is pristine. No one has to be consistant (all the time). If this movie stays on character and story line it should make a lot of uncomfortable people more uncomfortable.
    The media has confused the ecologic logic to tone down our cultures drive to consume and dethrone nature. Maybe a “Hw” movie can pick up some slack.
    Seldom Seen

  12. Shimon February 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Hollywood should not make The Monkey Wrench Gang.
    I dont think Edward Abbey wanted to have it made by an bunch of greedy hollywood bastards! They dont care about the idea of the book. they think about money.

    I’d say: Lets make it our selves or ask Peter Jackson!
    In an ecological good way without the Hollywood bullshit!!! No famous actors, simple, shocking and with the idea of the book.

    Who is in?

  13. Willie February 28, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    When I was reading this book all I could think about was what a great movie it would make. I started casting the charecters in my head the whole time and this is what I came up with.

    Smith – Owen Wilson
    Hayduke – Henry Ian Cusick (form Lost)
    Bonnie – Mila Kunis
    Doc – Terry O’Quinn

    The cast that they have picked is way to old, Hayduke and Bonnie where both in there twenties. I also think Owen Wilson would be a perfect fit for smith adding a little more comedy.

    John Goodmen would be a perfect Bishop Love.

  14. Hayduke April 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    This is a slap in the face for all that Edward Abbey stands for but it has awesome movie potential nonetheless. As far as casting goes I think Doc works well with Richard Dreyfuss, Owen Wilson works great for Smith, and Willie nailed it with Mila Kunis as Bonnie. Although a younger Angelina Jolie would be perfect. Hayduke I had more trouble with but a younger Sylvester Stallone would have worked great.

  15. Gibbous April 21, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    Abbey wrote a screenplay for this, so you can be sure he wanted it to be a movie, and it should be. But I agree not by these Hollywood schmucks. I have story-boarded the first few chapters in my head for some time now myself. I pray they get it at least somewhat right if it is ever done at all.

    Imdb has in their “pro” site which I can’t get into, but it has recently updated it to a 2013 release. This just keeps getting pushed back. And I would not put a whole lot of stock into this cast, this terrible cast (aside from Goodman as Love) has been out there for years now and a lot has changed. Maybe there is still time for a renegade version of this to be done. Heh heh. I did read that they were filming some time back in ’09 though in NM, wonder if that’s true. Anyone with more information on the release date, filming or anything else, please fill us in.

    There’s a poster here at Presman Films:


  16. mike amato May 9, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    I am not sure if you guys even read the book at all, In hayduke lives Abbey describes Hayduke as fit individual, an ex green beret, at what point do you see Goodman fitting this stature. I am thinking he is most likey going to play bishop love! Since Hollywood only knows how to do one thing, (butchering classic books into movies) I am sure that they will put McConaughe has Hayduke, I can only hope that Doug Peacock a dear friend is Ed Abbey and was with him when he died is part of this production

  17. Jared Brady May 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    I bet Jack Nicholson is the Doc., he would be hilarious burning down billboards!

  18. jo bob August 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Hayduke: Vin Disel
    Doc: Kelsey Grammar
    Bonnie: Angelina Jolie
    Seldom:John Cullum (Northern Exposure)
    Sheriff: John Goodman

  19. The BIG Dumby December 6, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    I think that hayduke should be played by Javier Bardem. If the dude can get a cowboy enough accent

  20. howdy March 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    I don’t know where you all are from, but it sure as hell isn’t the south west and I doubt you spent any time in the desert (outside your car). We’ve played this game for years; who should play which role if the movie ever got made. And the best we could do is well, it probably couldn’t be done worth a shit, so fuck it. this while canyoneering, backpacking, etc in the same desert that Abbey set his book in. So, leave it alone. Let it be what it is in your head and leave it to some group of actors who have never even set foot in to a remote area without a camera crew.

  21. Nicko September 25, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    In my mind it’s definitely Todd Lowe (Terry Bellefleur in True Blood) as Hayduke. McConaughey as Seldom Seen is a great choice. I think Michael Parks (the sheriff from Kill Bill) would make a great Doc Sarvis.

  22. Mesa April 27, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    It is hard to imaging a worst cast than this.

  23. Pat in NH December 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    Make the Movie Already!!! I’m dying to see the movie, the scenery, Ed’s dream come true!
    I want to see it on the screen instead of only in my head! Saving pristine land is importaint for the ages…maybe some kids will pick up the flag and head to the desert, and learn just how beautiful this country is and it’s worth fighting for. Ed would have loved to see the movie made, although I can’t believe it will, I hope, someday…but Ed put the piece of work out there for hundreds of thousands of us..of course he wanted the movie made…even his friends said so. Someone make the damn movie PLEASE, before the Monkey Wrench Generation is dead! Susie! I think it’s got to be Susie!


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