Years ago, Ron Howard was once attached to direct an adaptation of Claire Messud’s bestselling novel The Emperor’s Children with Noah Baumbach writing the script. Then last year, Howard pulled out of the project and Baumbach stepped up to direct the film, casting Keira Knightley, Richard Gere and Eric Bana to star in the story about three friends nearing their thirties and struggling with their lofty expectations in pre-9/11 New York City.
However, Twitch has now learned that Crazy Heart writer-director Scott Cooper will replace Baumbach at the helm of the movie. It merely looks like Baumbach’s has too much on his plate at the moment to work on another film. He is currently shooting a documentary project and is already supposed to direct While We’re Young, which he also wrote, with Jesse Eisenberg, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts.
Additionally Rachel McAdams and Emma Thompson have reportedly joined the cast. Reading the synopsis of the book which you can find below, we assume Knightley and McAdams will play two of the three friends. There is no word on who will play the male lead as the Twitch report doesn’t mention the previously attached Eric Bana. Overall, this is shaping up to be an interesting project with an all-star cast. No word yet on whether Cooper will rewrite Baumbach’s script.
The Emperor’s Children is about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their way–and not–in New York City. There is beautiful, sophisticated Marina Thwaite–an “It” girl finishing her first book; the daughter of Murray Thwaite, celebrated intellectual and journalist–and her two closest friends from Brown, Danielle, a quietly appealing television producer, and Julius, a cash-strapped freelance critic. The delicious complications that arise among them become dangerous when Murray’s nephew, Frederick “Bootie” Tubb, an idealistic college dropout determined to make his mark, comes to town. As the skies darken, it is Bootie’s unexpected decisions–and their stunning, heartbreaking outcome–that will change each of their lives forever.
Brian Grazer will produce at Imagine Entertainment. Shooting is scheduled to start in the spring of 2012.
Have you read “The Emperor’s Children”? What do you think of this project?