Scenes From a Marriage Series

Over this past summer, HBO slated a new limited series adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s miniseries Scenes From a Marriage. The project had Oscar Isaac and Michelle Williams on board to star in the examination of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple. But scheduling conflicts have kept Williams from being able to stay on board, and now Jessica Chastain is stepping up to take the second lead role instead.

Deadline has news on the Scenes From a Marriage series swapping out Michelle Williams for Jessica Chastain, who previously starred in A Most Violent Year with Oscar Isaac. Williams ended up having to leave the project due to scheduling issues, and even though it’s always a bummer to miss out on a promising performance from the actress, bringing Chastain on board keeps our interest on the same level.

The original 1973 Swedish miniseries was written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starred Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson. In addition to being presented as a six episode miniseries that examined the evolution of marriage from matrimony through infidelity, divorce, and subsequent partnerships, Bergman also edited down into a feature film as well. Here’s a taste of  the original series:

The new version will written, produced, and directed by Hagai Levi (The Affair) and executive produced by Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res and Endeavor Content, Lars Blomgren (The Bridge) Daniel Bergman (Ingmar’s son), Blair Breard and Amy Herzog. Michelle Williams was previously executive producing along with co-star Oscar Isaac, and it seems like she’s still staying on board in that capacity, but Jessica Chastain will now also executive produce too.

Chastain and Isaac have actually been friends for a long time, having studied at the prestigious Julliard school for acting. They brought their history to the screen in A Most Violent Year, and now they’re chemistry as friends will certainly enhance their performance as a struggling couple in Scenes From a Marriage. With Isaac and Chastain, it’s easy to see this being a raw character study of two lovers coming to terms with the changes in their relationship over the years.

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