Ewan McGregor is to get his gums around an American accent again as he takes the lead in AMERICAN PASTORAL, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s 1997 novel. McGregor will play Seymour “Swede” Levov, a Jewish businessman whose successful career is derailed by the revolutionary activities of his daughter during the Vietnam War. Though a period piece examining the attitudes of the time, the narrative also goes back and forth in recent history, so plenty for the actor and director Philip Noyce (RABBIT-PROOF FENCE) to work with here.
Lakeshore Entertainment are producing, having brought two previous Roth tomes to the screen, THE HUMAN STAIN with Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman and ELEGY with Penelope Cruz and Sir Ben Kingsley. Neither set the box office ablaze, so expect another complex and intelligent effort that will hopefully navigate that tricky path between honouring the book and creating something cinematic. John Romano (THE LINCOLN LAWYER) is writing the script. McGregor is also in meaty mode for a future release, John Le Carre’s OUR KIND OF TRAITOR. He’s one of those actors who’s continuously asked to do accents even though the results vary – I’m also thinking of Natalie Portman’s repeated attempts at British in this category – but he should give the project the heart it needs to fly on celluloid.