As he’s currently shooting the Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, and Christopher Walken buddy comedy Stand Up Guys, a press release announces that Fisher Stevens — who, just a few years back, won an Oscar for producing the acclaimed documentary The Cove — will next helm an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Pastoral, which Lakeshore and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment are producing.
Originally written by Philip Roth — and adapted by John Romano (The Lincoln Lawyer) — the ’60s-set story follows Seymour “the Swede” Levov, an idealistic American do-gooder whose family is torn apart when his daughter, a rebellious girl, is arrested for illegal acts in protest of the Vietnam War. The moral quandaries created here sound right in line with Stevens‘ documentary, Crazy Love, or first narrative, Just a Kiss — and it’s in a period I’m wholly fascinated with, to boot. Let’s hope this one comes together with the right team.
You can read the full press release below (via Deadline):
“Los Angeles, CA, May 15, 2012— Academy Award-winner Fisher Stevens will direct American Pastoral for Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE). The project is based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. Screenwriter John Romano (The Lincoln Lawyer, Intolerable Cruelty) adapted the screenplay.
American Pastoral is a pivotal story depicting the destruction of the American dream. Protagonist Seymour “Swede” Levov, a legendary high school athlete, grows up to marry a former beauty queen and inherits his father’s business. Swede’s seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by becoming a revolutionary and commits a savage act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.
The book is the first novel in Roth’s American postwar trilogy that also includes I Married a Communist and The Human Stain. This will mark Lakeshore Entertainment’s third project with Roth—The Human Stain was released in 2003 and Elegy (based on The Dying Animal) in 2008.
“Philip Roth is the great American author of our time,” says Lakeshore Chairman Tom Rosenberg. “Fisher shares our passion for Roth’s literature, and he is a unique storyteller with his multi-layered past in the business as an actor, producer and director. Stand Up Guys has been a fantastic experience, and we are thrilled to work with Fisher again.”
Says Sidney Kimmel: “Philip Roth is such an extraordinary story teller, an American treasure, and this particular story so vivid that we could not be more excited. Fisher and all of us are dedicated to bringing his vision to the big screen in a fully complimentary and realized fashion.”
Stevens is currently directing Stand Up Guys starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin for SKE and Lakeshore Entertainment which Lionsgate will release. He is represented by Paradigm and Untitled Entertainment.
Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing with Sidney Kimmel. SKE President Jim Tauber and SKE President of Production Matt Berenson are executive producing. Principal photography will begin early next year.
The project marks the seventh film co-financed and co-produced by Lakeshore and SKE in the past year, including the hit Lionsgate release The Lincoln Lawyer, and the upcoming I, Frankenstein, starring Aaron Eckhart and directed by Stuart Beattie for Lionsgate to release, in addition to Adaline in pre-production with Spanish director Isabel Coixet set to direct.”
Have you read the original book, and do you think Stevens is the right person to adapt it?
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