Philip Roth's ‘American Pastoral’ Being Made into Movie

Film version of Pulitzer Prize-winning novel will be directed by Fisher Stevens

Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "American Pastoral" will be made into a movie from director Fisher Stevens.

The book is one of Roth's most critically heralded and offers a look at the social upheavals of the 1960s and 70s as seen through the eyes of a once legendary high school athlete, Seymour “Swede” Levov. 

"American Pastoral" helped kick off a career renaissance for the author and is the first novel in Roth’s American postwar trilogy — a grouping that also includes "I Married a Communist" and "The Human Stain."

Film versions of Roth's novels have been hit and miss over the years. "Elegy" (2008), adapted from his "The Dying Animal," was acclaimed, and "Goodbye, Columbus" (1969) helped make Ali MacGraw a star.

However, "The Human Stain," (2003) with Anthony Hopkins improbably playing a man of mixed race, and "Portnoy's Complaint" (1972), which kept Roth's title but not his humor, are generally considered duds. 

"American Pastoral" is being backed by Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE). Stevens will direct a screenplay by John Romano ("The Lincoln Lawyer").   

Stevens is currently directing "Stand Up Guys," starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin for SKE and Lakeshore Entertainment. He won an Oscar for producing the 2010 dolphin hunting documentary, "The Cove."