‘Little Children’ Director Todd Field All Set to Return to Feature Filmmaking For ‘Beautiful Ruins’

With his 2001 feature, In the Bedroom, and his 2006 feature, Little Children, longtime actor Todd Field established himself as a director worth watching. It’s now been seven years since we’ve gotten a feature film from him though, which kind of feels like a gip. What’s the deal, man?

Whatever the deal over the past seven years has been, the deal now is that the wait for another Field film is over, so all may rejoice. Cross Creek Pictures has announced [via Coming Soon] that they’ve hired him to helm an adaptation of the Jess Walter novel ‘Beautiful Ruins.’ The official plot synopsis the production company gives is a little vague, but a more thorough rundown of the novel’s plot from Good Reads describes it by saying:

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks on over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot-searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.”

Field is co-adapting the novel for the screen along with the author so one would imagine what we see in the form of moving pictures should stick pretty closely to what was originally on the page. The next question, it would seem, would be whether Field plans on hiring two different sets of actors to play the young and old versions of these characters, or if he plans on aging a couple of young people through movie magic. If it’s the latter, the effects work involved would seemingly be a new challenge to tackle for a director who’s focused mostly on very grounded, human dramas to this point. It should be interesting to follow how this one develops.

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