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James Ponsoldt To Direct F. Scott Fitzgerald Drama ‘West Of Sunset’

James Ponsoldt To Direct F. Scott Fitzgerald Drama 'West Of Sunset'

James Ponsoldt isn’t leaving much space for breathing room. His latest film, “The End Of The Tour,” is fresh off a Sundance premiere and is hitting theaters next month (check out the trailer). Next in line is perhaps his starriest effort yet with the Tom Hanks-starring adaptation of Dave Eggers‘ “The Circle.” And now the director has another hot project on his plate. 

READ MORE: Tom Hanks Eyes James Ponsoldt’s ‘The Circle’

Deadline reports the filmmaker will write and direct the F. Scott Fitzgerald tale “West Of Sunset.” Just to be clear this is about Fitzgerald, not based on his writing. Instead, the movie is based on the novel by Stuart O’Nan, which chronicles the final, tragic years of the writer’s life before he died in 1940. Here’s the book synopsis: 

In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to a mental asylum and his finances in ruins, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. By December 1940, he would be dead of a heart  attack.
Those last three years of Fitzgerald’s life, often obscured by the legend of his earlier Jazz Age glamour, are the focus of Stewart O’Nan’s gorgeously and gracefully written novel. With flashbacks to key moments from Fitzgerald’s past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and daughter, Scottie.
Fitzgerald’s orbit of literary fame and the Golden Age of Hollywood is brought vividly to life through the novel’s romantic cast of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. A sympathetic and deeply personal portrait of a flawed man who never gave up in the end, even as his every wish and hope seemed thwarted.

READ MORE: Sundance Review: James Ponsoldt’s ‘The End Of The Tour’ Starring Jason Segel And Jesse Eisenberg

So it’s a chance to dabble in the fading moments of the Jazz Age, with big stars, but all centered around a figure who met a truly heartbreaking end. Sounds like great stuff, but we’ll have to wait, as “The Circle” is still going first.

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