The story of how Truman Capote’s first novel, “Summer Crossing,” came to public light is surely as interesting as the love story within its pages. To Capote, it wasn’t worthy of publication, so he trashed it. A housesitter at Capote’s Brooklyn Heights abode recovered it, along with a number of other works, but merely held onto it. And for 50 years, “Summer Crossing” was thought lost. When the housesitter died, his nephew discovered them and tried to sell them at Sothebys’ auction, but they were eventually sold to the New York Public Library and the novel was finally published in 2005.
Capote’s story, about a 17-year-old debutante who pursues a covert roman with a Jewish parking attendance during the hot New York City summer of 1945, was announced as actress Scarlett Johansson’s directorial debut nearly two years ago. The news out of the Cannes Film Market today is that Aldamisa will sell international rights at the festival, while CAA will make the domestic distribution deal. Oleg Boyko (“Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For”) will co-finance with Aldamisa.
Says Johansson, “Several years ago I began working alongside the Capote estate and writer Tristine Skylar to adapt ‘Summer Crossing,’ an inspired early work of Truman”s which has long captured my heart. Being able to bring this story to the screen as my full-length directorial debut is a life dream and deep privilege.”
Johansson has learned the profession under the helm of many, many masters over the last decade or so: Robert Redford, the Coen brothers, Terry Zwigoff, Sofia Coppola, Woody Allen, Brian De Palma, Christopher Nolan, Cameron Crowe — it’s been quite the role call. And she just headed up a big production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on Broadway (a lackluster one, though she excelled). She’s always seemed like someone who would eventually make this transition and I’m excited by her choice of material.
She’ll next be seen in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “Don Jon” and Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin.”