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James Schamus directing Philip Roth adaptation

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James Schamus, former Focus Features CEO, will take his first foray into directing by taking on Philip Roth.

Schamus will direct Indignation, which he adapted from Roth’s 2008 novel about college student Marcus Messner that takes place in 1951. Messner, from Newark, leaves New Jersey to attend a small college in Ohio. The film will be produced by Schamus and Anthony Bregman of Likely Story, while Avy Eschenasy and Stefanie Azpiazu will executive produce.”Marcus Messner is an extraordinary character, heartbreakingly open and alive, and Anthony Bregman is an extraordinary producer, heartstoppingly economical; bringing them together for my first feature as a director is as felicitous a match as I could ever hope for,” Schamus said in a statement.

Schamus’s ouster from Focus was seen as an end of an era in the indie film world, with Focus turning its attention to a broader range of films. Schamus’ screenwriting credits include The Ice Storm and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. He was a producer on Brokeback Mountain, among many other titles.