Ewan McGregor to Make Directorial Debut with 'American Pastoral'
As of last fall, Salt director Phillip Noyce was still slated to direct the long-gestating Ameircan Pastoral, based on the book written by author Phillip Roth. However, since Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning joined the project last fall, it sounds like Noyce fell away from the project. Because now Deadline reports Ewan McGregor, who was already on board to lead the film, is now set to make his directorial debut with production slated to begin in September in Pittsburgh. Noyce had been trying to get this project off the ground for more than a decade, so it must have taken something pretty drastic to draw him away.
The report notes that Fisher Stevens was courted at one point to direct the film, but clearly that didn't work out. McGregor leads the story as Seymour "Swede" Levov, a blonde Jewish businessman living in New Jersey, whose regular life is disturbed by the political upheaval of the '60s under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Meanwhile, Connelly will play Dawn, Swede's former beauty queen wife and Fanning has landed the role of Merry, Swede's daughter. Merry is an integral part of the story having grown from a loving, quick-witted girl into a sullen, fanatical teenager capable of an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism. Here's hoping McGregor can wrangle all this together for a solid drama. Thoughts?