Film Adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s “The Double” Comes to NYC This Month
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
Bringing a novella of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s to the big screen is a fool’s errand — that is, unless you have a uniquely distinct vision. Director Richard Ayoade seems to understand this; his forthcoming take on The Double has been compared to the style of fellow Brit Terry Gilliam for its blend of the madcap and the dark. Jesse Eisenberg (and Jesse Eisenberg) will play Simon James (and James Simon), the Anglicization of the The Double’s original Golyadkins. The cast also includes Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, James Fox, and Sally Hawkins.
Perhaps the greatest doppelgänger story ever written, The Double concerns Golyadkin, a government worker, who goes mad when he meets someone who appears to be his exact double, only more confident and aggressive — that is to say, his exact opposite. At first the two Golyadkins are friends, but, as you get the sense in the trailer, that doesn’t last long.
A handful of New Yorkers will be able to see The Double early, at the New Directors/New Films series on March 24th and 29th. For Film Society and MoMa members, tickets are already available. Otherwise, visit the New Directors’ website to buy general sale tickets, which are available starting today. The film will not have a public release stateside until May 9th, so see it early.