Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern to star in Florian Zeller’s The Son
by Kaleem Aftab
- See-Saw Films to produce the director’s sophomore film following the award-winning The Father
Academy Award nominee Hugh Jackman and Academy Award winner Laura Dern will star in The Son, writer-director Florian Zeller’s follow-up to the BAFTA winning and Academy Award nominated The Father [+see also:
interview: Florian Zeller
Adapted by Zeller and Academy Award winner Christopher Hampton (The Father, Dangerous Liaisons, Atonement [+see also:
film profile]), from Zeller’s acclaimed stage play, The Son follows Peter (Jackman) as his busy life with new partner Emma and their baby is thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate (Dern) turns up with their troubled, distant, and angry teenage son, Nicholas. Nicholas wishes to live with his father. Despite Peter’s best intentions, the bonds between the family remain incredibly strained.
The original stage version of The Son opened in London in February 2019, and London’s West End in September 2019, to rave reviews. Writer-director Zeller says, “The Son is a deeply human story which, I believe, connects us all; I hope audiences will be profoundly moved by this family’s journey. The story is set in a vibrant and very much alive New York, an important character. The movie should make us call family and friends to tell them that they are wholly loved and not alone.”
The launch of the film comes as the critical acclaim for Zeller’s debut film The Father is being matched by awards. The film won Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins and Best Adapted Screenplay for Zeller and Hampton at the BAFTAs. It is nominated for six awards at this weekend’s Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hopkins), Best supporting Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design (Peter Francis and Cathy Featherstone) and Best Film Editing (Yorgos Lamprinos).
Academy Award winners Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (Ammonite [+see also:
film profile], The King’s Speech [+see also:
interview: Tom Hooper
film profile]), and Joanna Laurie of See-Saw Films, produce with Christophe Spadone (The Father) alongside Zeller. Film4 is co-financing the production. Cross City Films and Embankment are launching international sales on The Son, with Cross City Films and CAA Media Finance co-representing the US rights.
See-Saw’s Iain Canning and Emile Sherman say, “Having been lucky enough to see The Father at Sundance 2019, we knew that Florian was a uniquely talented filmmaker. The Son is a story that needs to be told - a story that rings an alarm. Through examining the human condition and our vulnerabilities, this film will strike a chord with audiences and leave an indelible mark on all who see it.”
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