Until recently, David Gorden Green was supposed to be directing Goat, an adaption of a memoir by Brad Land about his experiences with hazing endured while pledging to the Kappa Sigma fraternity. When I was interviewing Jeff Nichols, director of Shotgun Stories and one of the nominees for the John Cassavetes Award at the upcoming Film Independent Spirit Awards (for another outlet), I learned that Nichols' next project is taking over helming duties on Goat. Nichols said he also did some work on the script, for which he will also get co-writer credit along with Green.

It seems like a good fit for Nichols, who hails from Green's hometown of Little Rock (both filmmakers are also grads of North Carolina School of the Arts, which is producing a plethora of hot young filmmakers these days), and whose first film was, like Goat, set in the South and about relationships between men. No word on what Green will be directing next; he recently wrapped work on the stoner-ific Pineapple Express. Our own Erik Davis, as you may recall, loved the trailer for that one.

I've not read Goat myself, but from what I've gleaned, the gist of the story is that before his frat experience, Land had given a ride home from a party to a couple guys he didn't know, and they beat him up and robbed him. After healing (at least, physically) from that, he followed his younger, more charismatic brother to the college he was already enrolled in, and then pledged Kappa Sig, his brother's fraternity, where he went through the usual array of hazing crap, culminating in another pledge dying of a heart attack after being denied Kappa Sig membership.

I don't really get the allure of the whole Greek thing -- the hazing, the rituals, the keg parties, etc, and I have no idea how accurate Land's memoir is about the actual events that took place, but it seems like, if done well, it could make a compelling film. Anyone out there who's read the book have any thoughts on how it might translate to a movie?