Scott Cooper Directing 'Emperor's Children' Instead of Noah Baumbach
by Ethan Anderton
October 11, 2011
Over four years ago we heard that Noah Baumbach would script an adaptation of Claire Messud's 2006 novel titled The Emperor's Children for director Ron Howard. However, last year Howard decided he would direct The Dilemma instead (not his best decision) and Baumbach was stepping up to helm the adaptation with Keira Knightley, Richard Gere and Eric Bana attached to star in the story about about Ivy League graduates approaching their 30s with trepidation. Now Twitch has word that Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper will instead be at the helm and a couple more names have now joined the cast. More below!
Apparently Rachel McAdams and Emma Thompson have been lined up to star in the film now as well, but Twitch doesn't mention Eric Bana as being previously involved so maybe he's fallen away from the project. For a more detailed account of the story, here's the official synopsis:
The Emperor's Children is about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their way--and not--in New York City. There is beautiful, sophisticated Marina Thwaite--an "It" girl finishing her first book; the daughter of Murray Thwaite, celebrated intellectual and journalist--and her two closest friends from Brown, Danielle, a quietly appealing television producer, and Julius, a cash-strapped freelance critic. The delicious complications that arise among them become dangerous when Murray's nephew, Frederick "Bootie" Tubb, an idealistic college dropout determined to make his mark, comes to town. As the skies darken, it is Bootie's unexpected decisions--and their stunning, heartbreaking outcome--that will change each of their lives forever.
Brian Grazer is still producing through his and Howard's Imagine Entertainment banner and production is looking to start next spring. It sounds like Baumbach merely has a full schedule and can no longer direct the project since he's slated to direct While We're Young starring Jesse Eisenberg, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts sometime next year as well. It's not clear what this means for Cooper's attachment to the thriller Out of the Furnace, but it sounds like this project is finally coming together after a long development period. It's a little sad to lose Baumbach as director, but Cooper proved his talent with Crazy Heart, so I'm still just as interested to see how this adaptation turns out, especially with the reported cast.