Ewan McGregor to make directorial debut on American Pastoral

Ewan McGregor to make directorial debut on American Pastoral

Actor takes over from Phillip Noyce, will adapt Philip Roth’s Pulitzer-winning Vietnam-era drama

Ewan McGregor is stepping behind the camera to direct his first feature, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s 1998, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, American Pastoral. McGregor will also star in the film as Levov along with Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Connelly.

The news comes as a surprise, particularly as slated director Phillip Noyce had only just taken over the project himself last summer from Fisher Stevens who was assigned the job in 2012.

American Pastroral tells the story of Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov, a legendary high school athlete who has a seemingly perfect life after he marries a former beauty queen and inherits his father’s business. His life shatters when his daughter commits a deadly act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War. The book is the first novel in Roth’s American postwar trilogy, followed by I Married a Communist and Human Stain.

Variety picked up the statement from Lakeshore Entertainment, with CEO Tom Rosenberg stating: ‘Ewan’s talent goes far beyond his on-screen work, and we’re excited to be working with a director who is as passionate as we are about telling the story of American Pastoral.’

‘It’s a great privilege to be working with Lakeshore on Philip Roth’s astounding novel American Pastoral,’ continues McGregor. ‘I’ve wanted to direct for years and wanted to wait until I found a story that I "had" to tell and in this script I knew I had found that story.’

Hopefully this one doesn’t languish in development hell for much longer. Watch out for a potential 2016 release.