Who would have thought the funny little guy from Short Circuit would become a respected filmmaker who even won a documentary Oscar for producing The Cove? Now he’s planning a new directorial effort, taking on Philip Roth’s acclaimed novel American Pastoral, according to Variety.
Roth is definitely one of the great men of American letters, but despite attempts such as Portnoy’s Complaint and The Human Stain, his books have proven very tough to turn into decent films. Stevens’ will be hoping he can find a way to make it work with Roth’s 1997 book. The plot follows Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov, a legendary high school athlete who 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.
It’s a great book, although Roth’s great strength is in painting the internal lives of his characters, something that’s tough to get across on screen. John Romano, who worked on The Lincoln Lawyer, is the one charged with turning the novel into a script. American Pastoral should begin filming next year.