Director Barry Levinson, who’s been busy putting together the large-scale mob flick Gotti: Three Generations, has decided to shoot another film this fall before commencing production on Gotti. Levinson will reunite with his You Don’t Know Jack star Al Pacino (who’s also set to star in Gotti) in an adaptation of Phillip Roth’s novel The Humbling. The film centers on a famous retired stage actor in decline who moves to upstate New York with a much younger woman, resulting in his reinvigoration.
Deadline reports that the plan is to shoot The Humbling this fall, with Levinson currently working on filling out the rest of his cast. He co-wrote the script alongside Buck Henry and Michal Zebede. Levinson recently took over directing duties on Gotti: Three Generations after Nick Cassavetes left the project. He and his Bugsy co-writer James Toback are now giving Gotti a page-one rewrite, and while the cast could change once the script is finished, he’s very keen on Pacino and John Travolta starring in the film. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of Phillip Roth’s The Humbling.
Gotti: Three Generations centers on the relationship between John Gotti Sr. (John Travolta) and his son, John Gotti Jr., who turned his back on mob life. Joe Pesci has been set to play Gotti’s deputy Angelo Ruggiero while Lindsay Lohan may or may not appear in the film. Pacino will play crime family underboss Neil Dellacroce. With all the hubbub associated with this project, it’s nice to see Levinson taking his time. Hopefully the finished product will be worthwhile.
A deteriorating and increasingly irrelevant actor finds the possibility of renewal in a younger woman in Roth’s tight Chekhovian tragedy. 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. [Amazon]