Look out, Scorsese: Scarlett Johansson plans directorial debut with TrumanCapote novella
We’re not sure who’s more excited right now: Literary nerds or Scarlett Johansson fans.
It’s not often that a Hollywood film appeals to both audiences (one's a little harder to please than the other—we’ll let you guess which), but the perfect crowd-pleaser is coming in the form of Johansson’s directorial debut, an adaptation of Truman Capote’s long-lost novella “Summer Crossing.”
On Friday, Variety announced that Johansson’s project was picked up by producers Barry Spikings (The Deer Hunter) and Peter D. Graves (Braveheart), in conjuction with the Truman Capote Literary Trust.
Playwright Tristine Skyler will be penning the script, which seems like an excellent choice given her past success with Getting to Know You (which she adapted from the stories of Joyce Carol Oates) and The Bell Jar (adapted from Sylvia Plath’s classic novel). Also a playwright, Skyler is well known for her The Moonlight Room, named one of the Ten Best Plays of the Year by The New York Times.
“Summer Crossing” is a significant work for Capote fans. As a young writer for The New Yorker, in 1943, Capote was inspired by his big city surroundings and set his novella-in-progress in Manhattan.
The story centers on Grady, a wealthy 17-year old socialite. Beginning with her refusal to accompany her parents on a summer trip to Paris, “Summer Crossing” follows Grady’s increasingly rebellious behavior. When her self-destructive efforts to break through the boredom of her sheltered life lead her down the aisle of a seedy New Jersey church at 2 a.m., her life changes in unpredictable, and irreparable, ways.
The novella was in progress for nearly a decade; ultimately, Capote was dissatisfied with the story and shelved it. “Summer Crossing” was considered lost until 2004, when the New York Public Library bought the manuscript at auction.
You can read an excerpt from “Summer Crossing” over at The New Yorker. If you’d like more Capote, check out “The Bargain,” written in 1950 and reprinted online here.
And, just because, here’s Audrey Hepburn singing “Moon River” (from Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s):