Barry Levinson and Al Pacino to Tackle Erotic Philip Roth Novel The Humbling
Not to worry, Barry Levinson's still hard at work hammering that Gotti: Three Generations biopic into something that's starting to kinda-sorta resemble The Godfather, depending on how much you buy into Levinson's hype. But first, Deadline reports, Levinson and Gotti co-star Al Pacino (who most recently teamed up on the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning You Don't Know Jack) will film their adaptation of Philip Roth's 2009 erotically-tinged novel The Humbling. Cue the sexy sexagenarian shenanigans!
Roth's The Humbling earned mixed reviews upon release two years ago, but that didn't stop Pacino from snapping up the film rights himself. A quick rundown of the novel's plot points shows why The Humbling was so ripe for the big screen treatment. The spoilery synopsis, courtesy of Publisher's Weekly:
[SPOILERS] At 65, Simon Axler, a formerly celebrated stage actor, is undergoing a crisis: he can no longer act, his wife leaves him and, suicidal, he checks himself into a psych ward. Then he retires to his upstate New York farm to wait for... something, which arrives in the form of Pegeen, daughter of some old theater friends who is now a lithe, full-breasted woman of forty, though with something of a child still in her smile. A Rothian affair ensues, despite (or perhaps because of) their age difference and Pegeen's lesbian past. Axler overlooks all the signs that should warn him not to trust too much in the affair and instead tries out more and more sexual turns with Pegeen (spanking, strap-ons, role play), until one night they pick up a drunk local for a three-way that might prove to be soul-crushing. Roth observes much (about age, success and the sexual credit lovers hold one with another) in little space, and the svelte narrative amounts to an unsparing confrontation of self. [END SPOILERS]
Levinson, Buck Henry and Michal Zebede penned the script, and Levinson aims to begin directing this fall, according to Deadline. The film has yet to find its Pegeen, the 40-something younger woman/kinky lover to Pacino's Simon Axler. (At 71, Pacino is actually a sexy septuagenarian.) Let the casting games begin below!