The Emperor’s Children

The Emperor

This is dream team stuff, people. The Wrap reports that actress/writer/director Lake Bell has been tapped to direct the big screen adaptation of Claire Messud‘s Man Booker Prize listed bestselling novel “The Emperor’s Children.” Bell will direct from Noah Baumbach‘s script, which has basically just been sitting around for whole years waiting for someone to make it into a real movie. Set in New York City just before and after 9/11, the novel centers on a trio of Brown University pals (who maybe don’t like each other as much as they should) who are just trying to make their way (often, their very misguided way) around life in the big city. The events of 9/11 change that, of course, and the novel is an unsentimental look at how we experience tragedy, especially the wide-ranging and extremely unexpected kind (as the pages tick by and the days move forward and the inevitability of what will soon happens sets in, phew, well, it gets pretty damn heavy). It’s just great stuff. Chatter about a big screen adaptation of Messud’s beloved novel has gone around since 2006, when the book first hit shelves. The last we heard — way back in 2011! — was that Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper was going to take on the project (using Baumbach’s script), though that obviously didn’t pan out. Before that, Ron Howard was set to direct (also from Baumbach’s script). A hefty number of big names have been rumored to star in the film, including Keira Knightley, Eric Bana, Richard Gere, Michelle Williams, […]


A few weeks back, I bemoaned the lack of Crazy Heart writer and director Scott Cooper in recent cinema. Despite being attached to a number of projects, nothing had yet panned out, so the news that he was signing on for an equally-as-languishing project, the adaptation of Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children was music to my ears. Such news must have given Cooper and his team a kick in the pants, as the helmer is now set for another new project. Fox Searchlight has signed Cooper to helm (and possibly adapt from the source material) a film based on Mark Seal’s book The Man in the Rockefeller Suit. Seal’s book chronicles the bizarre and criminal life of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German man who moved to the United States as a teen, and then slowly began to pass himself off as a part of the Rockefeller family. For whatever reason, Gerhartsreiter’s insane ruse worked, and he spent a number of years as “Clark Rockefeller.” As a Fake-efeller, Gerhartsreiter got work on Wall Street, palled around in chi-chi social circles, got married to an apparently smart businesswoman, and had a kid. He also apparently killed two people in California in his younger years. Oh, and he also went totally nuts when his wife finally caught on to his lies and sought a divorce, kidnapping their young daughter for a period that was less than a week, but that still involved his dragging a social work by SUV and also a weird […]


The film adaptation of Claire Messud’s gorgeous novel The Emperor’s Children has faced an unfairly bumpy trip to the screen. Back in 2009, Ron Howard was slated to direct the film from a script by Noah Baumbach. Then the project seemingly fell dead, with no news until March of 2010, when Howard left the project entirely, leaving both writing and directing duties to Baumbach. At that time, a list of attached cast members was announced (including Keira Knightley, Eric Bana, and Richard Gere, with buzz about some other names like Michelle Williams). Production was supposed to start last summer, but of course, it didn’t, and know Baumbach appears to be back out of the director’s chair, with Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper stepping in to direct from Baumbach’s script (according to an insider report from Twitch). Cooper burst on to the scene with his Jeff Bridges-starring Crazy Heart back in 2009, a directorial debut so lovely and assured that it earned its star his first Oscar (after being nominated no less than six times). Since then, Cooper has had his own fair share of project whiplash, with rumors that he was on the shortlist for Gangster Squad, news that he was developing his own take on The Hatfields and the McCoys, and attachments to the Carancho remake, Empire of the Summer, and Black Listed The Low Dweller. Which is all a nice way of saying that, just like The Emperor’s Children, there’s been a lot of talk about Cooper, but no […]

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published: 12.23.2014
published: 12.22.2014
published: 12.19.2014

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