‘Doubt’... and the Roman Polanski connection

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Oscar buzz is already building for Miramax’s “Doubt,” and the trailer is now in theaters. The movie, set for limited release Dec. 12, is based on the 2005 Tony- and Pulitzer-winning Broadway play by John Patrick Shanley, who also directs the film.

While we at Culture Monster are as eager to see it as anyone else, we’ve been wondering about a little piece of information buried way down at the bottom of the movie’s IMDb page:

Nathalie Radovic .... assistant: Roman Polanski (uncredited)

If this tidbit is accurate (and you never know for sure on IMDb), does it mean that Polanski (pictured, right) had a hand in the movie, maybe as a consultant or as some sort of informal advisor?


That wouldn’t be entirely inconceivable, since Polanski directed the Paris production of “Doubt” in 2006, to much acclaim (‘Roman Polanski’s direction doesn’t contain a false note,’ Le Monde said.)

Did Shanley seek out Polanski’s help with the movie? Or was Polanski attached to direct the film at an early stage of development, only to drop out later?

Sufficiently intrigued, we asked Shanley himself. His prompt e-mail reply:

‘Roman had nothing to do with the film at any stage. He directed it as a play in Paris. He did a damn good job.’

So there you have it.

Still, no disrespect to Shanley, but we can’t help but think what a good fit a Polanski-directed film version of ‘Doubt’ might have been. A claustrophobic setting; two characters caught in a psychological battle; allegations of sexual impropriety. If ever a story demanded the directorial hand of Polanski, this is it.

— David Ng