Jesse Eisenberg to star in adaptation of Dostoyevsky's The Double

Richard Ayoade to direct Eisenberg in dark psychological tale
Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network
Incredibly exciting news. New York Magazine reports that Jesse Eisenberg has been cast in a film adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella, The Double. Eisenberg, who was Oscar nominated for his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, is to be directed by Richard Ayoade, known to British audiences for his comedic roles in The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh and Man to Man with Dean Learner.

The plot of The Double revolves around Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, a government clerk who finds he has been replaced by a man with his exact likeness. The tale, first published in Russian as Dvoynik in 1846, sets a precedent for the forbidding bureaucratic worlds of Kafka, and creates a psychological portrait of a man whose identity is cast into doubt.

In some sense, an adaptation of The Double continues something of a theme in contemporary mainstream cinema. The uncanny 'double', or doppelgänger, has offered a way of exploring dark psychological terrain in films such as Aronofsky's Black Swan and David Fincher's 1999 film Fight Club. Whilst the influence of Kafka or Dostoyevsky has been felt in other recent films, most notably Brad Anderson's psychological thriller The Machinist.

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