Check out this cast for the movie version of Philip Roth's DYING ANIMAL!!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a bit of info on a project, currently untitled, but an adaptation of Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning novella, DYING ANIMAL. Dennis Hopper just joined up, as did Peter Sarsgaard and Debbie Fuckin' Harry. Already on-board are Penelope Cruz, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson. Lakeshore is doing it, their second Roth adaptation, the first being THE HUMAN STAIN. Nicholas Meyer, who wrote the screenplay for STAIN is once again attacking Roth's work. The plot sounds a bit standard (a professor has an affair with a grad student, it ends in heartbreak and years later she returns to his life with shocking news... I'm sure that there's much more to it... it did win the Pulitzer, afterall...), but the cast just can't be ignored. Just seeing Kingsley, Sarsgaard and Hopper in the same flick make this interesting to me.
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April 11, 2007, 11:07 p.m. CST
April 11, 2007, 11:23 p.m. CST
That makes me terribly sad. I've never read any of Roth's work though...
April 12, 2007, 12:41 a.m. CST
by Runs with a Gut
... is a bold and affecting novella, but it didn't win Roth the Pulitzer. That was "American Pastoral", which Phillip Noyce is supposed to be adapting. Anyone familiar with Roth's David Kepesh trilogy will probably agree that Ben Kingsley is a curious casting choice for the Professor of Desire.
April 12, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST
by Peter Tarnopol
The worldwide take for "The Human Stain" was approx. $25million, five million less than the declared production budget. The only other Roth novel that's been made into a film is "Portnoy's Complaint". I have no idea what kind of business that adaptation did back in '72, but something tells me it wasn't exactly stratospheric.
April 12, 2007, 8:47 a.m. CST
by Bronx Cheer
I think a TV version of The Ghost Writer was also made. That's another Nathan Zuckerman story. Read some Philip Roth. He's good. And for the love of all things sacred, quit quoting box office figures. Some very great films never made back their cost. In the economics of the film biz, Spider-Man pays for Philip Roth. Box office quoters working in studios are destroying film.
April 12, 2007, 9:27 a.m. CST
This is pretty much accepted fact in the literary community, and (in my opinion) he lives up to the hype. His books seem to me kind of unfilmable though. Very cerebral, very focused on the characters' inner states. I haven't read Dying Animal yet, so I can't say much about that one, but The Human Stain definitely suffered in adaptation. What might make a good adaptation is The Plot Against America, an alternate history of WWII in which Charles Lindbergh defeats FDR in the presidential election and makes a nonagression pact with Hitler. Of course, true to Roth, the book focuses on a small Jewish family in New Jersey and how this affects THEIR lives, so don't think it would be some war epic. Honestly, though, he is one of those writers whose works I never particularly want to see as movies, because his writing is so perfect as writing. (no more than when I watch a great movie, I think, 'man, I can't wait to read the novelization of this!')
April 12, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST
I never knew that. Read the book about 10 years ago. I liked Youth in Revolt better. Check that out when you have the time.
April 12, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST
dont want any hissy fits around these parts now do ya?
April 12, 2007, 2:51 p.m. CST
mraig you are living in 1973. either that or you confuse prolificacy with greatness
April 13, 2007, 10:04 p.m. CST
by Peter Tarnopol
... are essentially unfilmable because they tend to be high-minded meditations on the self. This is why the market for literature is so small, and by extension, films based on works of literary fiction. <p> Bronx Cheer, I agree with you; accountants are slowly destroying the greatest of all art forms, but so are talent agents, who, over the years, have collectively ensured that all films made within the system are much riskier propositions than they should be. <p> Because of this, I'm surprised that $30million was poured into "The Human Stain", and that another unnecessarily expensive Roth adaptation has been given the green light after "The Human Stain" failed to make it into the ledger's black column. <p> Having said that, Roth’s "The Dying Animal" is arguably a better base on which to build a film adaptation because of its film-friendly length (156 pages), and because its inherently cinematic, well as cinematic as a work of literature can be.
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