THE BOOK: Franzen’s tale of aging Midwestern parents and their bohemian and often troubled children won the 2001 National Book Award.
WHAT HAPPENED? Producer Scott Rudin snapped up the film rights in 2001 and hired director Stephen Daldry and playwright David Hare, who together had successfully adapted The Hours. But Daldry was too busy, and it was announced in 2005 that director Robert Zemeckis would be taking over, though he too has been preoccupied.
WILL WE EVER SEE THIS MOVIE? Maybe, but not anytime soon. Daldry and Hare have shifted focus to another adaptation, Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader. Zemeckis has appeared more interested of late in making high-tech, motion-capture extravaganzas such as The Polar Express and Beowulf. He has plans to follow up Beowulf with a new take on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, voiced by Jim Carrey.
POTENTIAL SAVIOR: If anyone can turn a squabbling family into high art, it’s Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding).