EXCLUSIVE: Will Ferrell is set to star in Captain Dad alongside Catherine Keener and Michael Cera. The dark twist on the family vacation comedy will be written and directed by Golden Globe-nominated Sebastian Silva (The Maid) and produced by Anne Carey and Archer Gray with Christine Vachon and Killer Films exec producing. Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales here at Cannes. UTA Independent Film Group packaged the film and will handle the domestic sale. This is a killer comedy combo to land on the Croisette the first day of the market.

Rich Peelman (Ferrell) gives his wife Linda (Keener) the gift of a lifetime for her birthday: a trip through the Caribbean on a sailboat with all six of their kids and their partners. Stubborn, competitive and overly confident in his sailing abilities that are clearly out of sync with reality, Rich is determined that the vacation be run on his terms. But things do not go according to plan. His “father knows best” attitude clashes with the rest of the Peelman clan. And by the end, even the most patient of the bunch are ready to throw Captain Dad overboard, bringing new meaning to the idea of the dysfunctional family.

This project feels rights in Ferrell’s wheelhouse, especially after the fleeting to-do a couple of weeks back over Black List project Reagan. Ferrell’s name was associated with the project, which reputedly deals with the former U.S. President’s dementia, before the actor’s reps made it clear he would not be moving forward with it. Protagonist has developed a habit of landing quality breakout titles at markets, especially Cannes. Last year, it handled Yorgos Lanthimos’ well-received The Lobster.

Ferrell is repped by UTA, Mosaic and attorneys Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Madelbaum Morris & Klein. Keener is repped by Gersh. Silva is repped by UTA and attorney Iddo Arrad. Cera, who previously worked with Silva on Magic Magic and The Crystal Fairy, is repped by Thruline, ICM Partners and attorney Jamie Feldman.