For over a decade now Hollywood has been working on an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Pastoral. Various directors have come and gone, but it’s never gotten off the ground. The latest to give it a go is Philip Noyce, who suggests to ComingSoon that the biggest issue with getting the film made has been finding the right actor for the lead role.
However now he thinks he done it, as Ewan McGregor is attached to the film.
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. The 1997 American Pastoral 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 can be tough to get across on screen.