James Ivory became one of the most acclaimed writer/directors of his generation after making such films as “A Room with a View” and “The Remains of the Day,” but it wasn’t a Merchant Ivory film that won him an Oscar. That would be “Call Me by Your Name,” the screenplay for which Ivory adapted from André Aciman’s novel of the same name. Now 90, he has his sights set on at least two new projects — and wants Daniel Day-Lewis to come out of self-imposed retirement for one of them.
Ivory is currently writing “The Judge’s Will,” based on longtime collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s short story of the same name, for director Alexander Payne; he isn’t content to simply write, however: “I’d also been thinking about doing an adaptation of the novel ‘Coral Glynn’ by Peter Cameron, which I’d like to direct, set in England in the 1950s,” Ivory tells Film Comment. “There is a sharp detective in the story which would suit Daniel Day-Lewis, just as there are very good parts for Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sands, and Rupert Graves, now all in their fifties.”
“Daniel has retired from film acting before, but came out to play Abraham Lincoln. Maybe he will also want to play our detective and will be ready to be coaxed out to join his old friends,” Ivory added, ever the optimist.
Day-Lewis announced that his most recent role, the fashion designer at the center of Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread,” would be his last. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance, having previously won the Best Actor trophy for “My Left Foot,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “Lincoln.”