The Gotham Group Options Ronald De Feo’s Solo Pass
After their 2014 success with The Maze Runner and upcoming The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Gotham Group have now set their sights on Ronald De Feo’s dark comedy Solo Pass, which was published in 2013. Olive Productions’ Steve Buscemi is set to direct the project and it will be produced by Gotham’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman along side Buscemi and Olive’s Wren Arthur.
A dark yet often funny novel narrated by a man who, for the past two months, has been a patient at a New York City mental ward. Having suffered a breakdown—due to his shattered marriage and an irrational fear of fading away as a human—he now finds himself caught between two worlds, neither of which is a place of comfort or fulfillment: the world of the ward, where abnormality and an odd sort of freedom reign, and the outside world, where convention and restrictive behavior rule. Finally on his way to becoming reasonably “normal” again, he requests and is granted a “solo pass,” which allows him to leave the (locked) ward for several hours and visit the city, with the promise that he will return to the hospital by evening.
As he prepares for his excursion, we get a picture of the ward he will temporarily leave behind—the staff and the patients, notably Mandy Reid, a schizophrenic and nymphomaniac who has become his closest friend there. Solo Pass is an unsettling satire that depicts, with inverted logic, the difficulties of madness and normalcy.