7 items from 2014
Gravitas is about to make its return to American literary life: Jonathan Franzen has a new novel, and it's coming out in September 2015. The book's called Purity, which is the name of the main character and also a metaphor, probably. Like The Corrections and Freedom, Purity will tell the story of multiple generations of one American family — unlike those earlier books, this new one will find the author experimenting with something close to magical realism. "It’s not strict realism," Franzen's publisher told the New York Times. "There’s a kind of mythic undertone to the story." We've got 10 months to find out exactly what that means, but you can start loading your think pieces now. »
- Nate Jones
The British-born, New Jersey-raised Lila Yacoub has collaborated with directors Noah Baumbach (“Frances Ha,” “Greenberg,” “The Corrections”) and Marina Zenovich (“Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out,” “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired”), as well as producing projects for Wes Anderson (“Moonrise Kingdom”) and working on films for Robert Redford and Stephen Daldry.
“I always wanted to be in films, and I started out doing musicvideos and gradually worked my way up,” says Yacoub, who has several new films due for release. First up is “Rosewater,” the directorial debut from “The Daily Show’s” host Jon Stewart due out Nov. 14, on which she has exec producer credit.
The drama, adapted from Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir, used Jordan to double for Iranian locations — “because no other country would let us shoot there,” she says.
“We used local crews and shot for a very tight 33 days, as Jon had just a 12-week hiatus from the show, »
- Iain Blair
Green previously worked at CAA and UTA and represents Matthew Quick (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Jonathan Franzen (“The Corrections”), Chuck Palahniuk (“Fight Club”) and Deborah Harkness (“The Discovery of Witches”). He recently closed a film rights deal with The Weinstein Co. for Quick’s “Every Exquisite Thing.”
The news about Green was first reported by Deadline.com.
- Dave McNary
Jonathan Franzen, who hates everything from the internet to snark (heh), apparently has no problem with mid-career biographies. The notably cranky author of The Corrections and Freedom gave his blessing to Swarthmore English professor Philip Weinstein to write a biography of him titled Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage. Weinstein titled it so, reports the New York Times, because Franzen is "working toward turning rage into comedy." He was also careful to note that this isn't going to gossipy: "It’s not an exposé of Jonathan Franzen ... It doesn’t pretend to be a full-scale biography. It’s too early for that. He’s in full career mode. Someone later, a generation from now, will do that biography. It’s a report on who he is." Everyone should tweet about this, because that'll make Franzen, like, so peeved. »
- E. Alex Jung
The HBO pilot Westworld is coming together quite nicely. Person of Interest creator and The Dark Knight screenwriter Jonathan Nolan is spearheading the adaptation of writer/director Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi film of the same name, which revolved around a malfunctioning Wild West robot at a futuristic adult amusement park. Anthony Hopkins is already set to lead the potential series as the creator of the park with Evan Rachel Wood co-starring as a “sassy farm girl”, and now THR reports that Ed Harris has signed on to play the show’s primary antagonist, The Man in Black. The character is described as “the distillation of pure villainy into one man.” Hit the jump for more on the latest Bad Robot series, including further casting. In addition to Harris, THR also reports that Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, and Kyle Bornheimer will fill out the stellar cast of the Westworld pilot. »
- Adam Chitwood
Lakeshore Entertainment has officially cast Dakota Fanning in director Phillip Noyce's forthcoming Philip Roth adaptation "American Pastoral." She will join Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Connelly and, for those familiar with the 1997 novel about Vietnam-era malaise in America's upper middle class, will play the pivotal role of Merry Levov. McGregor plays her father, Swede, a postcard-perfect patriarch whose life in New Jersey is shattered by his politically radical daughter's sudden, violent act of terrorism. Intercut with fragments of Swede's life are dispatches from Rothian alter ego Nathan Zuckerman, who encounters the grown-up Levov at a high school reunion in the mid-90s. Like another high-minded literary property, Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections," this adaptation has been in the trunk for over a decade. But it's finally seeing the light. And Fanning is a smart casting choice. Earlier this year, she played a streetwise, scrappy eco-terrorist in Kelly »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The folks at the Daily Bugle have been working overtime this week; we've already had several posts from the viral site for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this week [see here and here], and now another has arrived online, this time detailing Shocker's escape from Ryker's Island...
Shocking Escape from Ryker's, by Ned Leeds
Incarcerated bank robber Herman Schultz has escaped from Ryker’s Island days before the scheduled start of his trial on multiple counts of armed robbery, assault, and fleeing the scene of a crime. Schultz gained notoriety by committing his alleged crimes with the use of a homemade vibratory device that was capable of shaking a steel vault door off its anchor hinges.
A Ryker’s Island Corrections Department spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Schultz escaped by creating a hole through the three-foot thick concrete wall of his prison cell.
The source said officials believe Schultz crafted vibratory gauntlets »
- Gary Collinson
7 items from 2014
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