Pope of trash John Waters will return to directing with an adaptation of his own novel

Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance marks Waters' first time behind the camera in 18 years.


Charles Bramesco


Anything is possible, as we’ve learned from this year in movies; Todd Field, David Cronenberg, David O. Russell, and Sarah Polley all emerged from long hiatuses with the new features many never thought would come. And now, an even longer-dormant master of the form has announced that he will return to grace us with his genius once more, a reality that many had accepted as a beautiful dream never to be realized.

This could refer only to the Pope of Trash himself, John Waters (the lead interview of our recent Pink Flamingos issue), who gave Deadline the seismic exclusive that he’s settling back into the director’s chair after eighteen long years. He’ll adapt his own novel Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance for his grand reintroduction, with the bulletin including a statement that he hopes to spread the “demented joy” that is his signature to moviegoers around the world.

The recently published book chronicles the misadventures of one Marsha Sprinkle, an all-around flim-flam artist living life on the lam like so many of Waters’ past imperiled antiheroines. The included synopsis paints a vivid picture: “Dogs and children hate her. Her own family wants her dead. She’s smart, she’s desperate, she’s disturbed, and she’s on the run with a big chip on her shoulder. They call her Liarmouth―until one insane man makes her tell the truth.”

As he gears up for production on his surprise comeback, Waters will enter a world much changed since 2004. An internet-besotted culture has a more cordial relationship to cult cinema and in particular his oeuvre, still considered a wacko novelty act as he made his last film and more widely understood as bad-taste virtuosity today. A generation of actors worshipping at his altar of gross-out gags would line up for a chance to be in one, though this raises the question of which name-brand stars wouldn’t scan as unnatural in a film by John Waters.

However things shake out, this represents a victory for sickos, perverts, skeezeballs, trenchcoat masturbators, and assorted degenerates everywhere. As goes the parlance of our time, “YES… HA HA HA… YES!”

Published 6 Oct 2022

Tags: John Waters

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