Writer/director Alex Ross Perry’s most recent film, The Color Wheel, was a pretty challenging story to ask audiences to get behind, what with its protagonists who were near crippled with neuroses and narcissism, not to mention its incestual undertones—but it was nonetheless interesting and well-made enough to earn largely positive reviews. And it must have turned some heads in Hollywood too, because now Perry is slated to be back with another film, and one that’s set to include a couple of name actors in its cast, to boot.
The story comes from The Wrap, who report that the same producing team who wowed Sundance this year with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints are helping Perry to once again get behind the camera and bring one of his scripts to life. This time around he’s written a character drama called Listen Up Philip, and according to the report, it’s a New York-set film that’s going to star Jason Schwartzman as the title character, Philip, a newly accomplished writer whose poor life decisions have often hurt those around him—most particularly his art photographer girlfriend, Ashley, who’s going to be played by Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss.
Given Schwartzman’s experience playing a New York-based writer on HBO’s Bored to Death and Moss’ experience smoking marijuana as Peggy Olson, one has to think that the casting for this film couldn’t be anymore spot on. Perry, for his part, seems to mostly be enthused about making a movie set in New York City. He’s quoted as saying, “As I enter my 10th year in the city—and thus finally become a real New Yorker—I finally feel ready to make an impression on the grand and treasured history of New York movies.” Is it possible that, in Perry, we could be looking at the next Woody Allen?
Okay, maybe not, but more movies that fully embrace New York as a specific setting with its own history and tone are certainly always welcome. Perhaps this will be the first of many to come from this newly christened “real New Yorker.” And congratulations to him on his hard-earned new title.