Focus Features will begin production late this month on Taking Woodstock, written by James Schamus and to be directed by Ang Lee.
The film is an adaptation of the memoir of Elliot Tiber, who played a role in helping the historic 1969 music fest unfold on his neighbor’s farm.
Demetri Martin (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”) had already been set to play Tiber, an aspiring interior designer in Greenwich Village obliged to run the family business, a Catskills motel. In summer 1969, he found himself at the center of a generation-defining experience when he volunteered the motel to be the home base for Woodstock concert organizers after his neighbor, Max Yasgur, made his farm available for the event.
Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman will play Tiber’s parents, and Jonathan Groff will play Woodstock organizer Michael Lang; Emile Hirsch will play a recently returned Vietnam vet, Eugene Levy will play Yasgur, and Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is in talks to play a transvestite named Vilma.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) is set as a closeted married man having an affair with Tiber, while Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan play a hippie couple attending the concert. Dan Fogler will play a local theater troupe head, and Mamie Gummer will play Lang’s assistant.