Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' The Eerie Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Tomorrowland' Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Digging Into the Cannes Lineup: More Vet Auteurs and Women, No Netflix Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' Ryan Gosling in Talks for 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents You Can Now Read Over 200,000 Leaked Sony Emails and Documents Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch: The New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Has Landed Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Watch the Teaser Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein Watch: This Exclusive Tribeca Trailer Promises a Vérité Southern Gothic in Malick Vein 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC 'Queen of Earth,' Starring a Gloriously Unhinged Elisabeth Moss, Goes to IFC Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Cary Fukunaga Takes Over Long-Stalled 'The Alienist' as TV Series Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition Why the Istanbul Film Festival Cancelled Its 2015 Competition The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) The Dramatic Story Behind Satyajit Ray's 50s Masterpiece 'The Apu Trilogy' (Exclusive) MTV Movie Awards 2015: The Highs, the Lows and the Winners List (Videos) MTV Movie Awards 2015: The Highs, the Lows and the Winners List (Videos) Arthouse Audit: 'Ex Machina' Leads Four Big Openers, Kristen Stewart Opens 'Clouds of Sils Maria' Arthouse Audit: 'Ex Machina' Leads Four Big Openers, Kristen Stewart Opens 'Clouds of Sils Maria' The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' The New Ladder: Anatomy of Indie Women's Picture 'Farah Goes Bang' Here's the First Image of Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Here's the First Image of Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Kristen Stewart Explains How She Held Her Own with Juliette Binoche in 'Sils Maria'--and Won a Cesar Kristen Stewart Explains How She Held Her Own with Juliette Binoche in 'Sils Maria'--and Won a Cesar Scientists Choose the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Ever Scientists Choose the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Ever

Phillip Noyce and Ewan McGregor Jump on Philip Roth's 'American Pastoral' - But Is It a Good Idea?

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! June 23, 2014 at 2:31PM

Lakeshore Entertainment has tasked Phillip Noyce to direct, and Ewan McGregor to star in, the film adaptation of Philip Roth's contemporary classic "American Pastoral," which has been in the trunk for years now.
1
Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor

Lakeshore Entertainment has tasked Phillip Noyce to direct, and Ewan McGregor to star in, the film adaptation of Philip Roth's contemporary classic "American Pastoral," which has been in the trunk for over a decade.

American Pastoral

McGregor would ostensibly play Swede Levov, a postcard-perfect upper Middle American athlete-star turned family man whose life is traced from high school, when he has godlike status-- through the politically tumultuous 1960s and 70s. Roth's beautiful 1997 novel shatters the American dream, and the life of the Levovs, when the Swede's eventual daughter dissents from his authority, and the nation's, in a violent act of terrorism. Intercut with fragments of the Swede's life are dispatches from Rothian alter ego Nathan Zuckerman, who encounters the grown-up Levov at a high school reunion in the mid-90s.

Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi will produce this adaptation of the arguably unfilmable Pulitzer Prize winner. Anyone who has read a Philip Roth novel knows that its true textures lie in the prose, not the plot, and that sentences as crushing as "Life is just a short period of time in which you are alive" don't easily translate. Previous Roth adaptations, however sexy, have not been successful, from "The Human Stain" to "Elegy." ("Goodbye Columbus" was possibly Hollywood's best stab at a Roth movie.)

Noyce is a strong choice to helm; he's currently in post on another lit adaptation, "The Giver." While internationally bankable Scottish star McGregor is a more than capable, sexy and athletic actor--he'd have to play younger and older than his real age, 43--this role cries out for a well-known all-American movie star in their prime, a Redford or Newman. Leonardo DiCaprio? Matt Damon? Ben Affleck? Brad Pitt? Armie Hammer is too young. Ideas?

A similarly damning vision of the American panorama, "The Corrections" also spent a decade in development hell, and also starred McGregor, before HBO put the nail in that coffin in 2012. So I'll believe it when I see it.

This article is related to: News, Phillip Noyce, Ewan McGregor


E-Mail Updates