With Marriage Story earning Noah Baumbach a Best Picture nomination and some of the best reviews of his career, many have been wondering what he might do for a follow-up. The immediate answer was to co-write a Barbie movie with Greta Gerwig. But looking beyond that, we are now hearing that Baumbach is lining up his next project as a director and that it will be an adaptation of Don Delillo’s 1985 novel White Noise. Greta Gerwig is attached to star along with Adam Driver and the plot synopsis is as follows:
“A brilliant satire of mass culture and the numbing effects of technology, White Noise tells the story of Jack Gladney, (Driver) a teacher of Hitler studies at a liberal arts college in Middle America. Jack and his fourth wife, Babette (Gerwig), 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, an ‘airborne toxic event’ that is a more urgent and visible version of the white noise engulfing the Gladneys — the radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, and TV murmurings that constitute the music of American magic and dread.”
In case you didn’t catch it, this has no relation to the 2005 film of the same name starring Michael Keaton. I’m not sure if Delillo’s book is considered science-fiction, but it definitely sounds like a new direction for Baumbach in that none of his movies to date have really had any fantastical or genre elements in them. David Cronenberg previously adapted Delillo’s novel Cosmopolis in 2012 while Benoit Jacquot’s 2016 film Never Ever was based on Delillo’s The Body Artist. Baumbach’s film is expected to go into production this June and it will be produced by and for Netflix. Are you looking forward to Noah Baumbach’s take on White Noise?