Ewan McGregor to Make Directorial Debut With 'American Pastoral'

Ewan McGregor

The actor hit the premiere of Last Days in the Desert, in which he portrays Jesus.

The actor turned director takes over from Phillip Noyce on the Philip Roth adaptation for Lakeshore Entertainment.

Ewan McGregor is putting the final touches to his directorial feature-film debut.

The veteran actor was already on board to star with Jennifer Connelly in American Pastoral, a film adaptation based on the Philip Roth novel for Lakeshore Entertainment that Phillip Noyce was previously attached to direct.

Now the actor is stepping for the first time behind the camera as director, with Dakota Fanning joining the cast. "I've wanted to direct for years and wanted to wait until I found a story that I 'had' to tell, and in this script I knew I had found that story," McGregor said in a statement Wednesday.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of being on both sides of the camera, especially knowing I'll be working with Jennifer and Dakota," he added. American Pastoral, to be shot from an adapted screenplay by John Romano, will see McGregor play Seymour "Swede" Levov, with Connelly as Dawn, his wife.

Swede's seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by becoming a revolutionary and committing a deadly act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.

"Ewan's talent goes far beyond his onscreen work and we're excited to be working with a director who is as passionate as we are about telling the story of American Pastoral," said Lakeshore CEO Tom Rosenberg in his own statement.

Production on American Pastoral is set for Sept. 2015 in Pittsburgh. Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing.

McGregor will next be seen in Rodrigo Garcia's Last Days in the Desert, and Susanna White's Our Kind of Traitor, where he performs opposite Damian Lewis. He is repped by UTA, United Agents and the law office of Sloane, Offer, Weber, Dern, LLP.