"You don't have to worry about the Motion Picture Association of America, and you don't have to worry about the budget," filmmaker, author and raconteur John Waters recently told A.frame of writing his first-ever novel, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance. "That's the two things that are very freeing when you write a novel!"
As irony would have it, Waters will now write and direct an adaptation of the novel as his long-awaited return to moviemaking, marking his first feature since 2004's A Dirty Shame. Village Roadshow Pictures has optioned the novel, with Steve Rabineau producing.
Liarmouth is billed as a "hilariously filthy tale of sex, crime, and family dysfunction," about a scammer and master of disguise named Marsha Sprinkle, better known to friends and enemies alike as Liarmouth.
"Liarmouth is the craziest thing I've written in a while, so maybe it's fitting that my novel was shocking enough to jumpstart the engine of my film career," Waters said in a statement. "Thrilled to be back in the movie business, hopefully to spread demented joy to adventuresome moviegoers around the world."
Waters, who himself is also known as the Pope of Trash, the Prince of Puke, the Duke of Duty and now Filth Elder, broke out with his 1972 counterculture sensation Pink Flamingos, going on to direct such cult classics as Hairspray (1988), Cry-Baby (1990) and Serial Mom (1994). His most recent directing credit was the 2015 art video, Kiddie Flamingos, where child actors perform a "kid-friendly" table read of Pink Flamingos
"I think why my movies continue to play is that no matter how crazy they are, they aren't mean-spirited. The people who win are the people who never win in real life. And that's their appeal," Waters told A.frame upon the 50th anniversary of Pink Flamingos. Of Liarmouth and his first venture into novel-writing, he said, "I'm always daring myself to try something new as I get older."
"The response [to Liarmouth] has been very good so far, and believe me it could have gone either way," Waters admitted. "Once you read it, you'll know what I mean. If you like some of my crazier films, you will not be disappointed!"