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Disney Drops Mamet’s Dark Re-Imagining of Anne Frank

Back to the turnabout, as Disney has rejected David Mamet’s re-imagining of The Diary of Anne Frank, citing fears of a story “too dark” and “intense.” Given the source material, what were they expecting? Apparently not this: According to The Wrap Mamet’s adaptation tells the story of modern anti-Semitism through a contemporary Jewish girl’s travels to Israel and the trauma is induced by a suicide bombing.

Disney signed on the acclaimed playwright to helm their version of Anne Frank’s story in August, raising a few eyebrows. The pairing was odd, and imagining Mamet’s terse (and often vulgar) wit finding its way out of Anne’s mouth, kind of nightmarish. There was also his reputation for writing one-dimensional female characters — silly foils for his macho men. That said, there seemed to be something in Disney’s perchance for smoothing over the same life politics that Mamet so eagerly tears at that promised an interesting re-imagination.

And so, the Diary will be Anne Frank-less and Disney-less. But back on the market, it seems likely that bids will be made and Mamet’s next, contemporary entry will be filled. Who knows: Given his less than stellar screenplay record, perhaps this was all part of Mamet’s masterplan for sparking interest in the project. If so, bravo.

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