Mamet's Anne Frank Project Ditched for Being 'Too Dark'

September 24, 2009
Source: The Wrap

David Mamet

Back in August we found out about the unlikely pairing of writer/director David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross, Redbelt) and Disney on a remake of The Diary of Anne Frank. But with the recent shake up that's been going down at Disney after Dick Cook exited the studio, it looks like Mamet's take on the story isn't happening anymore. Sharon Waxman over at The Wrap says the picture, "developed by the studio’s chief of production, Oren Aviv… was recently rejected by the studio as 'too dark' and put in turnaround."  Sure it's a dark story already, but it sounds like Mamet's take was just too far out there for the new studio execs.

Apparently the story isn't simply a re-telling of the story chronicled in the 15-year-old Holocaust victim's diary, but rather the story is "about a contemporary Jewish girl who goes to Israel and learns about the traumas of suicide bombing." It doesn't sound too crazy, but an executive at Disney who sounds like he's genuinely scared about the adaptation commented on Mamet's version: "It's very intense, and dark and scary. It's not a film version of The Diary of Anne Frank. The story evolved into something more intense."

Well, now I'm all sorts of intrigued about this project after that kind of comment. And I hope that Disney can pick themselves up and get stuff moving again despite Dick Cook's exit. I'm sure his sudden departure will gum up Disney's studio machinery for a little while and stop a lot of projects where they stand, but this sounds like it could be a bold and daring piece that Disney could be proud of if they ever decide to make it. I hope we find out sooner than later what happens to Mamet's Anne Frank project. Anyone interested?

Find more posts: Movie News, Opinions



The Diary of Anne Frank is a pretty slow read. This, however, has got me pretty intrigued.

Andrew on Sep 24, 2009


Agreed, sounds too dark for a disney film...

sdafd on Sep 24, 2009


too dark,have you guys ever watched those older disney cartoons?what about pirates of the caribbean? omg disney is getting messed up now-reeally bad move for them to buy up marvel studios

Spider94 on Sep 24, 2009


I got the chance to hear Dennis Lehane (Mystic River and Shutter Island novel author) speak last night and he told us a story about this production that apparently a producer asked Mamet if Anne Frank could leave the attic and venture around the city.

Michael Radley on Sep 24, 2009


Lemme guess. Rebecca Pidgeon is playing Anne.

Greedo on Sep 24, 2009


This is why I hate Disney. Give it up, this isn't their kind of movie simply put. If they do it, it'll suck, no way around it.

Tra la la la la di da on Sep 24, 2009


I don't remember the holocaust being very cheery.

SlashBeast on Sep 24, 2009


I agree with SlashBeast...there was nothing "light" about the situation of Anne Frank and Mamet's take does sound interesting and could be just as "dark" as the actual story...I dunno...

Dude on Sep 24, 2009


Maybe add some singing birds or a talking guinea pig to cheer things up, hm?

captain subtext on Sep 25, 2009


SPOILER: She dies at the end. - How can a film about a young girl hiding in an attic from Nazi's who eventually is arrested and dies from Typhoid in a work camp be a jolly romp? They should make it like Mary Poppins, with animated cartoon Hitlers and really fun songs when they are crapping in buckets in front of each other. - Baby Jesus on the cross who are these fools that maketh these decisions?

Crapola on Sep 25, 2009


You can't call it Anne Frank without the attic and the Nazis. FAIL, DISNEY.

Daniel on Sep 25, 2009


a story about a jewish girl hiding in a dark attic to escape nazi gestapo, read the story almost 15 years ago but if my memory serves me correctly its not a movie that ends well as shes caught at the end and dies in a concentration camp, so yea disney its a very dark story, not really something disney would usually have in its lineup anyhow

harrison on Sep 25, 2009


It sounds like the movie started as a retelling and then somehow morphed into a parallel story with Anne Frank and this modern day Jewish girl being told in tandem (??). That's how I'm taking it, and it sounds like a hell of a story. Disney backing down from this is just another reason I am against Disney's ownership of Marvel. Disney wants the truth, but Disney can't handle the truth!! There should be an arm of Disney that caters to those of us who are not 11 anymore and like our entertainment grown-up. Otherwise, they should stop shoving this shit down the audiences' throats and pretending it's entertainment for adults. If they don't want to do that, they need to stop pretending that they are entertaining all audiences and admit they only want to entertain those 16 and under.

RStewie on Sep 25, 2009

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