One of my favorite things about Seattle novelist Matt Ruff is how his fans seem to be evenly split on their favorite book of his. Each of his books are so different from all the others that his fans have split into fiefdoms. Some prefer Fool on the Hill. Others have fallen hard for his newest, Lovecraft Country. The one that's most satisfying for me is Set This House in Order.
But Bad Monkeys is probably the Matt Ruff novel that more people have told me they love best. Something about the lean book's twisty plot and its central question — is the main character really a super-spy, or is she mentally ill, or both? — resonate with readers. And a lot of those readers will probably find this news from Patrick Hipes at Deadline to be very exciting:
Universal Pictures has optioned rights to Matt Ruff’s novel Bad Monkeys, a psychological thriller to be adapted as a feature by Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark. They will produce with Margot Robbie for her LuckyChap Entertainment, with Robbie also attached to star.
Margot Robbie is a rising star, having made her mark in The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short. Her upcoming performance in the comic book movie Suicide Squad is already getting rave reviews. And she just recently passed a critical milestone for women in Hollywood: she's been the subject of an incredibly creepy profile in a major magazine.
If Suicide Squad hits big, I'd expect Bad Monkeys to get fast-tracked. And if Bad Monkeys hits big, hopefully more readers will find their way to Ruff; we could use more voices in the great "Which Ruff novel is your favorite?" debate.