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Noah Baumbach to Adapt Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise’ Starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig

But is the all-star cast and crew enough to overcome the notoriously heady source material?

White Noise Movie Noah Baumbach
White Noise Movie Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach’s next film following his critically-acclaimed and Oscar-winning “Marriage Story” will be an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s seminal 1985 novel, “White Noise.”

In addition to the heralded source material combined with Baumbach writing/directing, the film is set to star Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig as the husband and wife characters in the story. Driver starred in “Marriage Story,” earning a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for Best Leading Actor. Gerwig–Baumbach’s longtime partner and collaborator–is an equally celebrated filmmaker and previously starred alongside Driver in 2012’s “Francis Ha.”

The challenge remains that DeLillo’s works are notoriously difficult to adapt, with his prose and plotlines both complicated and dense. Barry Sonnenfeld previously optioned “White Noise” in 2007, but the project never got off the ground. In 2016, Michael Almereyda, the writer-director best known for “Hamlet” and “Experimenter,” attempted to adapt the novel for the silver screen, but similarly failed.

The news comes from a Production Weekly listing with Netflix set to produce. Shooting is planned to commence in June.

The story is described in part as, “Jack and his fourth wife, Babette, bound by their love, fear of death, and four ultramodern offspring, navigate the rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism. Then a lethal black chemical cloud, unleashed by an industrial accident, floats over their lives.”

Prior adaptations of DeLillo’s books have not fared well at the cinema. David Cronenberg’s adaptation of “Cosmopolis,” made just $6.1m on a $20.5m budget despite starring Robert Pattinson. Benoît Jacquot’s “The Body Artist” received mixed reviews and grossed just $78,000.

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