Knuckle, a (literally) hard-hitting documentary about feuding Irish clans that premiered last week at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, is being turned into (presumably) another gritty TV series over at HBO, with assistance from the producers behind the cable channel’s Eastbound & Down.
Those currently attached to the project include the likes of Kenny Powers himself (actor Danny McBride) and director David Gordon Green – a pair whose previous collaborations also include the stoner action-comedy Pineapple Express and the upcoming Medieval stoner action-comedy, Your Highness.
Deadline says that the likes of Gerard Butler, Robert Downey Jr., and Vin Diesel were also vying to secure remake rights to Knuckle, a film shot primarily on low-grade stock by Irish filmmaker Ian Palmer over the course of twelve years. The project focuses on a feud between the Joyce and Quinn McDonagh clans that began back in 1992 for reasons that are never satisfactorily explained, despite the intense rivalry and bloodlust that lingers on between the two interrelated families.
Knuckle is primarily composed of footage detailing the bloody, bare-knuckle fist fights that men from each clan engage in as a matter of pride and for financial gain, since the battles are heavily bet upon by members of the families. How exactly HBO and the Eastbound & Down team are planning to adapt this story into a TV show (be it more comedic or dramatic) is not exactly clear at this time.
Palmer’s original work is a very raw and stripped-down examination of a senseless cycle of hatred and violence perpetuated by individuals who seemingly have little to no understanding of how the conflict even originated. It’s a rather bleak and essentially absurd scenario that isn’t played up for laughs in Knuckle, but arguably does lend itself to either a bitingly satirical, darkly comical, or brutally realistic TV series that expands upon the basic premise of warring families. Given the involvement of Gordon Green and McBride, the show will likely be more of a dark comedy than anything else.
Knuckle has yet to secure a domestic distributor, but it’s possible that HBO will tackle those duties as well. Those curious about the film’s harsh subject matter should check it out when it eventually premieres on TV or is given a limited U.S. theatrical release later this year.