Veteran indie filmmaker Mark Duplass is set to direct Village Roadshow’s adaptation of David Grossman‘s acclaimed novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar, Collider has confirmed.
Set in Israel, A Horse Walks Into a Bar is about a controversial 57-year-old comedian named Dovaleh Greenstein, who invites an old friend, a retired judge named Avishai Lazar, to watch him perform stand-up at a local bar one night. The two men haven’t spoken in over 40 years, and as Greenstein confronts a personal crisis over the course of the two-hour performance, we learn of a series of candid and chilling revelations about his past, which continues to haunt him. A deeper story begins to take shape that alters the lives of many of those in attendance.
Per Wikipedia, Lazar asks Greenstein why he invited him out of the blue, after all these years without contact, to see him perform. Greenstein says, “I want you to look at me. I want you to see me, really see me, and then afterward tell me.” “Tell you what?” asks Lazar. “What you saw,” replies Greenstein.
That’s a hell of a setup for a movie, and I’m so intrigued by this project that I may wind up buying Grossman’s book just so I don’t have to wait two years to find out what happened between Greenstein and Lazar. I just hope that Duplass doesn’t age the characters down, though I suppose he could simply by cutting the 40-year communication gap in half.
A co-production between Village Roadshow and Veritas Entertainment Group, the film will be produced by Veritas’ Bob Bookman, Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen, while Village Roadshow’s Jillian Apfelbaum will oversee the project on the company’s behalf.
Duplass is a really thoughtful director whose feature credits behind the camera include Cyrus and Baghead. More recently, he has directed episodes of HBO’s Room 104, which returns for its fourth and final season on July 24. He took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to call A Horse Walks Into a Bar “one of my favorite books of the last few years,” adding, “what an honor.”
Duplass is also an accomplished actor who stars on Apple’s The Morning Show and recently appeared in the Fox News drama Bombshell. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, and for more on The Morning Show, click here for our interview with Duplass and co-star Billy Crudup.