By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com August 5, 2011 at 1:04AM
Considering we'd worried about his potential range earlier in his career, and the fact that he doesn't always seem that enamored of the idea of being a movie star in interviews, we continue to be impressed by the choices that Jesse Eisenberg has been making. Playing Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network" was always going to be a tricky role to escape from the shadow of, but he's already had a big animated hit since with "Rio," he's in theaters next week in the R-rated comedy "30 Minutes or Less," and he's got some impressive and diverse projects lined up, including Woody Allen's "Bop Decameron," the Louis Leterrier heist comedy "Now You See Me" with Melanie Laurent, Mark Ruffalo and Amanda Seyfried, and a possible reteam with 'Social Network' producer Scott Rudin on a biopic of youthful anti-terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann.
But this morning brings news of another project, possibly the most exciting of them all, as Vulture reports that Eisenberg will be teaming up with another geek icon, comedian-turned-director Richard Ayoade, for the latter's adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyefsky's "The Double." Ayoade, of course, made one of the most acclaimed debut films of the year with the lovely coming-of-age tale "Submarine," and has had the Russian literature adaptation lined up as his next film for quite a while.
Ayoade's written the script with Avi Korine, brother of "Trash Humpers" helmer Harmony Korine, and the plot, which involves a bureaucrat who starts to lose his sanity when a doppelganger begins working in the same office, has been transplanted to contemporary America. Don't expect a literal adaptation, though: the director told us a few months back that, "It’s one of those things where I don’t know how you would adapt that story faithfully. It’s so internal, about someone’s descent into madness. Also, the elements that are more satirical about a counselor in 19th century Russia don’t feel particularly personal now, people don’t go ‘Oh, those privy counselors!’ It’d be pretty odd, you’d always have to start with a bunch of footnotes.”
It's kind of excellent casting, really, and we're dying to see how it turns out. There's no word on when the film will move forward, and it doesn't currently have a studio home, although Alcove Entertainment will be producing. But hopefully filming will get moving soon after Eisenberg wraps on "Now You See Me."