According to the New York Times, Al Pacino, who bought the rights to the book, will star as the suicidal, past-his-prime stage actor who winds up on a farm in upstate New York making it with his friends' daughter, a 40-year-old (unless Hollywood expectantly lowers here age) with lesbian tendencies and an interest in kinky stuff like strap-ons.
Directing the picture is Barry Levinson, who has collaborated with Pacino before in different capacity. He co-wrote the 1979 legal drama ...And Justice for All and much later produced Mike Newell's Donnie Brasco. More recently Levinson directed the actor in the made-for-cable Dr. Kevorkian biopic You Don't Know Jack, which will likely air on HBO early next year.
The Humbling could be more on the comical side than the past couple Roth adaptations given that Buck Henry (The Graduate) is writing the screenplay. Roth's writing is funnier than The Human Stain and Elegy might have you believe. Earlier adaptations like Goodbye, Columbus and Portnoy's Complaint (both starring Richard Benjamin) at least tried for the comedy, but neither was apparently all that great, either.
If Levinson can find a part for his regular associate Dustin Hoffman, I'll be even more sold on this. Hoffman and Pacino barely got to work together long ago on Dick Tracy, and it'd be terrific to see these vets onscreen united for something more substantial. As for the female lead, if they keep retain her age from the book, how about Anne Heche, who worked with Levinson in Wag the Dog? I think she might have something in common with the character.