Ewan McGregor Will Direct Movie Of Philip Roth's 'American Pastoral'

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an actor in possession of a good agent must be in want of a movie to direct. This week, the star of Moulin Rouge and Trainspotting made good on that dream. It has been announced that Ewan McGregor will direct an upcoming film adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel American Pastoral.

Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of Swede Levov, to be portrayed by McGregor, a family man whose life is disrupted by the chaos and turmoil of the 1960s. Jennifer Connelly will play Levov’s wife Dawn, a former beauty queen who should fit into his picture of a happy all-American family, but doesn’t. And Dakota Fanning will play their daughter Merry, a lost young woman who is irreparably swept up in the protest movement against the Vietnam War.

Director Phillip Noyce of Salt and The Bone Collector was first slated to direct Pastoral. When he decided to step aside, McGregor stepped in and added directorial duties to his role as leading man. This will be his first time directing a full-length feature film.

The script was written by The Lincoln Lawyer and Intolerable Cruelty screenwriter John Romano.

This is not Hollywood's first attempt to interpret Roth. In 1969 Ali McGraw starred in Goodbye, Columbus, in 1972 director Ernest Lehman adapted and directed Portnoy’s Complaint, in 2003, Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman paired in The Human Stain, in 2008 Sir Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz interpreted Elegy. Also earlier this year, Al Pacino took on The Humbling .

According to IMDB, American Pastoral is tentatively scheduled to be released in 2016.