Cannes 2013: Scarlett Johansson Makes Summer Crossing

Adapting the 'lost' Truman Capote novel

Scarlett Johansson

First mooted at least two years ago, Scarlett Johansson's long-held ambition to bring Truman Capote's Summer Crossing to the screen has finally come to fruition. Production company Aldamisa Entertainment has announced at Cannes that they've signed up to shepherd the project, which will be Johansson's debut as a director. Whether she'll also appear in front of the camera isn't yet clear.

Summer Crossing was Truman Capote's first novel, written in the late 1940s. It involves a middle-class New York teenager left home alone for a sweltering summer in 1945 while her parents are in France. Free to do what she wants any old time, she starts an affair with a Jewish parking attendent, which leads to marriage. But the class divide proves a tough one to navigate, and there's tragedy on the road ahead.

Capote claimed to have destroyed the book in a fit of ruthless self-editing sometime in the early '50s, but the story goes that it was rescued from the trash, along with numerous other Capote papers, by one of his Brooklyn neighbours. The collection was acquired and curated, decades later, by the New York Public Library, and Summer Crossing was finally published, 21 years after the author's death, in 2005.

“Several years ago," says Johnansson, "I began working alongside the Capote estate and writer Tristine Skyler [Innocence] 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.”

Production is currently pencilled in for the first half of 2014.