Barry Levinson to Put Al Pacino Through ‘The Humbling’

Al Pacino seems like he took a couple years off from acting. Ever since 2008’s Righteous Kill we haven’t seen much from the legendary actor. But now news of his next career moves have suddenly started trickling in pretty steadily. Last week it was revealed that he’s negotiating to make a movie about an aging rocker with Dan Fogelman, and we already know he’s set to be in Barry Levinson’s eventual Gotti movie; but new word is that before the troubled but headline grabbing Gotti pic gets off the ground Levinson and Pacino are going to work together on something else first.

Levinson is set to adapt the Philip Roth novel “The Humbling” from a screenplay written by Buck Henry, Michal Zebede, and Levinson himself. Pacino would star as the book’s protagonist, Simon Axler. The inside cover of the novel describes the story like so:

“Everything is over for Simon Axler, the protagonist of Philip Roth’s startling new book. One of the leading American stage actors of his generation, now in his sixties, he has lost his magic, his talent, and his assurance. … Into this shattering account of inexplicable and terrifying self-evacuation bursts a counter-plot of unusual erotic desire, a consolation for a bereft life so risky and aberrant that it points not toward comfort and gratification but to a yet darker and more shocking end. In this long day’s journey into night, told with Roth’s inimitable urgency, bravura, and gravity, all the ways that we convince ourselves of our solidity … are stripped off.”

So first news that Pacino might play an aging rock star, now word that he will play an aging actor. Things aren’t so bad for old men in the acting game. He’s probably thanking his lucky stars that he isn’t a woman at this stage in his career. They have to wait around every ten years for somebody to make a historical biopic about a queen or something to get work. These guys get to make movies about characters dating younger ladies well into their sixties. The results should at least be interesting though. The last time Levinson and Pacino worked together was for the Emmy Award Winning HBO Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don’t Know Jack. Say what you will about Pacino’s career increasingly sinking into self parody, but I always like to see him up on the screen, he seems to have at least some chops left in him, and Levinson has been a director that’s gotten good things out of him before. [Deadline Naperville]

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