"I was going to do it as a movie, but I couldn't figure it out. So now I've had it adapted as 12 one-hour episodes," Soderbergh tells Entertainment Weekly.
The adaptation was done, at least in part, by James Greer, the novelist and former Guided by Voices bassist who lives in Los Angeles when not on tour with his band Détective.
In 2011, in a piece about Barth for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Greer provided a window into his work on the project.
The massive project and period setting could easily mean big production bucks -- but Soderbergh has a plan. "I don't want to make a ... $85 million, 12-hour comedy set in the [1600s]," he tells EW. "I think I've come up with a solve to do it cheaply. It's bold. If it works, it'll be super cool. And if it doesn't, you won't be able to watch 10 minutes of it."
Cheap is good -- as long as it's not simple. "I start every new project saying, 'This one's going to be simple, this one's going to be simple.' It never turns out to be," Barth told the Paris Review in 1985. "My imagination evidently delights in complexity for its own sake. Much of life, after all, and much of what we admire is essentially complex. For a temperament such as mine, the hardest job in the world — the most complicated task in the world — is to become simpler."
Watching a cheap, complex 12-hour screen version of "The Sot-Weed Factor" would be exciting. But it might take a while before it comes to screens -- via