Fisher Stevens Plans American Pastoral

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Fisher Stevens (The Cove) is set to direct the big screen adaptation of Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment announced today. Screenwriter John Romano (The Lincoln Lawyer, Intolerable Cruelty) will adapt the Pulitzer Prize winning novel for the screen.

The book is described as “a pivotal story depicting the destruction of the American dream” in which protagonist Seymour “Swede” Levov, a legendary high school athlete, grows up to marry a former beauty queen and inherits his father’s business. Swede’s seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by becoming a revolutionary and commits a savage act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.

The book is the first novel in Roth’s American postwar trilogy that also includes I Married a Communist and The Human Stain. Pastoral marks Lakeshore Entertainment’s third project with Roth. The Human Stain was released in 2003 and Elegy (based on The Dying Animal) in 2008.

Stevens is currently directing Stand Up Guys starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin for SKE and Lakeshore Entertainment, to be released through Lionsgate.

“Philip Roth is the great American author of our time,” says Lakeshore Chairman Tom Rosenberg. “Fisher shares our passion for Roth’s literature, and he is a unique storyteller with his multi-layered past in the business as an actor, producer and director. ‘Stand Up Guys’ has been a fantastic experience, and we are thrilled to work with Fisher again.”

Says Sidney Kimmel: “Philip Roth is such an extraordinary story teller, an American treasure, and this particular story so vivid that we could not be more excited. Fisher and all of us are dedicated to bringing his vision to the big screen in a fully complimentary and realized fashion.”

Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing with Sidney Kimmel. SKE President Jim Tauber and SKE President of Production Matt Berenson are executive producing. Principal photography will begin early next year.