The latest entry into the high-literacy teen stakes is "Igby Goes Down," which opens in Los Angeles and New York on Sept. 13. Written and directed by rookie filmmaker Burr Steers, "Igby" stars Kieran Culkin in the title role, the disaffected younger son of a privileged East Coast family that, while still well connected, is no longer well financed. Whatever "old money" they may once have had has long since been spent or squandered.
Igby first came to life in novel form, but as [Steers] began to see his story in more visual terms, he developed it into a screenplay. Script in hand, he was able to attract A-list talent such as [Susan Sarandon] and [Jeff Goldblum], who had been an early acting teacher of Steers'. "None of these actors was getting paid what they normally get paid," he says. "It was their attachment that got the money that got the film made. Otherwise, no one would give a first-time director money for this kind of movie."
Kieran Culkin admires that Steers "really cares" about the characters.; PHOTOGRAPHER: JENNIFER ALTMAN / For The Times; [Burr] Steers, writer and director of "Igby Goes Down," grew up in a prominent East Coast family. His uncle is [Gore Vidal].; PHOTOGRAPHER: JENNIFER ALTMAN / For The Times; Kieran Culkin, center, plays title role in "Igby," with [Ryan Phillippe], [Amanda Peet].; PHOTOGRAPHER: MYLES ARONOWITZ