Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Jonathan Demme To Direct 'My Dinner With Andre' Reunion 'Wally And André Stage Ibsen'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 28, 2012 at 1:03PM

Even his detractors must admit that there's a glorious unpredictability in watching the career of Jonathan Demme. In the last decade alone, he's directed two remakes of 1960s classics, documentaries on Neil Young, Haitian activist Jean Dominique and former President Jimmy Carter, indie drama "Rachel Getting Married," episodes of TV series "A Gifted Man" and "Enlightened," and, on the way, an animated adaptation of Dave Eggers' "Zeitoun" and Stephen King time-travel thriller "11/22/63." But his next film? It's something even more unexpected.
1
Jonathan Demme Wally And Andre Shoot Ibsen

Even his detractors must admit that there's a glorious unpredictability in watching the career of Jonathan Demme. In the last decade alone, he's directed two remakes of 1960s classics, documentaries on Neil Young, Haitian activist Jean Dominique and former President Jimmy Carter, indie drama "Rachel Getting Married," episodes of TV series "A Gifted Man" and "Enlightened," and, on the way, an animated adaptation of Dave Eggers' "Zeitoun" and Stephen King time-travel thriller "11/22/63." But his next film? It's something even more unexpected.

The New York Times reports that Demme is teaming up with theater legends Wallace Shawn and André Gregory, who each starred in Louis Malle's "My Dinner With André" and "Vanya On 42nd Street" (the latter of which Gregory co-directed), on a new film entitled "Wally And André Shoot Ibsen," which will shoot in New York in the spring. 

Like 'Vanya,' which detailed the workshop rehearsals of a production of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," this will be based on a theatrical work, in this case a new version of Henrik Ibsen's "The Master Builder," adapted by Shawn (who's best known for roles in "The Princess Bride" and "Toy Story," but has a long career as a playwright) and directed by Gregory. Shawn will take the lead role of architect Solness, with Julie Hagerty ("Airplane!," "Lost In America") as his wife, Lisa Joyce ("The Messenger," "Boardwalk Empire") as Hilde, a girl he knew as a child, and Gregory as Brovik, his employee.

With Malle having passed in 1995, Shawn and Gregory have turned to Demme to film the production, although DoP Declan Quinn, who worked on 'Vanya' before going on to team with Demme on many movies, will return, and it seems that the film is intended very much as a successor to that project. This film, budgeted at less than $1 million, will be shot on a single location, but Demme describes it with the intriguing sentence "It's like a Hitchcock movie with a vein of humor running through it."

Given their previous reputation, and that they're taking on Ibsen's least accessible play, this was never going to be a crowd pleaser -- although "Community"'s recent episode paying homage to "My Dinner With Andre" might at least help introduce the pair to a new generation of fans. It's exciting news, regardless, as Shawn and Gregory's previous pairings have been fascinating, and Demme's never made an uninteresting film in his life, even if home runs are rarer. With filming set to get underway in the next few weeks, hopefully we'll see this on the festival circuit in early 2013.

This article is related to: Jonathan Demme, Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, Wally And Andre Shoot Ibsen


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates