By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

FISHER STEVENS TO DIRECT AMERICAN PASTORAL For Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Los Angeles, CA, May 15, 2012—  Academy Award-winner Fisher Stevens will direct American Pastoral for Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE).  The project is based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name.  Screenwriter John Romano (The Lincoln LawyerIntolerable Cruelty) adapted the screenplay.

American Pastoral is a pivotal story depicting the destruction of the American dream.  Protagonist Seymour “Swede” Levov, a legendary high school athlete, 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.

The book is the first novel in Roth’s American postwar trilogy that also includes I Married a Communist and The Human Stain.  This will mark Lakeshore Entertainment’s third project with Roth—The Human Stain was released in 2003 and Elegy (based on The Dying Animal) in 2008.

“Philip Roth is the great American author of our time,” says Lakeshore Chairman Tom Rosenberg.  “Fisher shares our passion for Roth’s literature, and he is a unique storyteller with his multi-layered past in the business as an actor, producer and director.  Stand Up Guys has been a fantastic experience, and we are thrilled to work with Fisher again.”

Says Sidney Kimmel: “Philip Roth is such an extraordinary story teller, an American treasure, and this particular story so vivid that we could not be more excited. Fisher and all of us are dedicated to bringing his vision to the big screen in a fully complimentary and realized fashion.”

Stevens is currently directing Stand Up Guys starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin for SKE and Lakeshore Entertainment which Lionsgate will release.  He is represented by Paradigm and Untitled Entertainment.

Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing with Sidney Kimmel.   SKE President Jim Tauber and SKE President of Production Matt Berenson are executive producing.  Principal photography will begin early next year.

The project marks the seventh film co-financed and co-produced by Lakeshore and SKE in the past year, including the hit Lionsgate release The Lincoln Lawyer, and the upcoming I, Frankenstein, starring Aaron Eckhart and directed by Stuart Beattie for Lionsgate to release, in addition to Adaline in pre-production with Spanish director Isabel Coixet set to direct.

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DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato