On top of also directing the film version of Dave Eggers’ “The Circle,” James Ponsoldt may helm a biopic of Lost Generation luminary F. Scott Fitzgerald, based on Stewart O’Nan’s atmospheric 2015 novel “West of Sunset.”
Of all the fiction writers lured to Hollywood to crank out big studio screenplays, Fitzgerald perhaps fared the worst, and this brief and troubling period in the author’s life is the focus of O’Nan’s book. In the late ’30s, Fitzgerald scratched out a few MGM scripts, while channeling his hack soul into writing the inspired “Pat Hobby” stories. But he failed to finish his farewell novel, “The Last Tycoon,” and in 1940 died of a thirst.
Deadine reports that Ponsoldt is negotiating this project for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. The novel also recaptures Fitzgerald’s good old days, writing alongside Ernest Hemingway and falling into doomed loved with Zelda, whose hospitalization led to Fitzgerald’s last finished novel “Tender is the Night” (1934).
Ponsoldt’s latest film, David Foster Wallace biopic “The End of the Tour,” opens July 31.