Ewan McGregor Starring in Philip Roth’s ‘American Pastoral’

Ewan McGregor American Pastoral Casting
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Lakeshore Entertainment has hired Phillip Noyce to direct and Ewan McGregor to star in its long-in-development drama, “American Pastoral.”

The project is based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel with an adapted screenplay written by John Romano (“The Lincoln Lawyer”). Filming is scheduled for March in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Lakeshore Entertainment has produced two other Roth adaptations — 2003’s “The Human Stain,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, and 2008’s “Elegy,” starring Penelope Cruz and Ben Kingsley.

“American Pastoral” will be produced by Lakeshore toppers Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi.

The story follows 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.

“Phillip Noyce is an exceptionally talented filmmaker and we’re excited to see him bring Philip Roth’s great American classic to the big screen,” said Rosenberg.  “We’re thrilled to be working with Ewan McGregor and have long believed he is the perfect actor to take on the powerful and complex character of the Swede.”

Lakeshore first attempted to develop “Pastoral” in 2003, picking it up when Paramount’s option lapsed. In 2012, it attached Fisher Stevens to direct and had Sidney Kimmel co-financing.

The book is the first novel in Roth’s American postwar trilogy, followed by “I Married a Communist” and “Human Stain.”

Lakeshore’s recent films include “Stand Up Guys” and “Underworld Awakening.” It’s in post on “The Age of Adaline,” starring Blake Lively, Harrison Ford and Ellen Burstyn, and “The Vatican Tapes,” starring Michael Pena, Dougray Scott, and Djimon Hounsou.

Noyce previously directed “Salt,” “Rabbit Proof Fence” and “The Giver.” McGregor’s credits include “The Impossible,” “Beginners” and the upcoming John Le Carre adaptation of “Our Kind of Traitor.”

Noyce is represented by UTA and Fineman Entertainment.  McGregor is represented by UTA, United Agents, and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.  Romano is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content.

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