Jake Gyllenhaal and the production company behind his critically-acclaimed turn in Nightcrawler are joining together to bring a popular crime novel to the big screen. Nine Stories which has a first-look deal with its partner Bold Films are developing a feature adpatation of Jo Nesbo’s crime novel The Son with Sicario director Denis Villeneuve set to helm. This also marks the third collaboration for Gyllenhaal and Villeneuve (Enemy and Prisoners).
Nine Stories’ producers Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker and Bold Film’s Michel Litvak are behind this project; Bold’s Gary Michael Walters is executive producing with Jo Nesbo and Niclas Salomonsson.
Nesbo is a Scandanavian writer whose books have sold more than 30 million copies, translated into fifty languages. His crime novel The Snowman was adapted into a film by Tomas Alfredson for Working Title.
The Son follows the life of Sonny Lofthus, a once gifted 15-year-old and promising wrestler, whose downward spiral ensues when his cop father commits suicide. For the past twelve years, Sonny’s time in prison has been nurtured by an uninterrupted supply of heroin from a seedy chaplain on the inside. When Sonny learns long-hidden truths about his father’s unexpected death, he makes a brilliant escape and begins hunting down the people responsible for his wrongful sentence.
Nine Stories recently completed principal photography on its first feature — David Gordon Green’s Stronger in which Gyllenhaal stars as the working-class Boston man Jeff Bauman, whose iconic photo from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing captured the hearts of the world. It is inspired by a true story and based on the New York Times bestseller. The film was developed by Mandeville Films before it was brought to Bold Films; Lionsgate will release it in 2017.
Other projects also in development at Nine Stories is Jack Hitt’s This American Life account of Lee Yopp, a former football coach turned theater director, who was hired by the US army to stage an annual music pageant on Fort Bragg with Tony-nominee Alex Timbers aboard to direct; Antoine Fuqua’s cartel drama The Man Who Made It Snow, based on David Mermelstein’s best-selling autobiography in which Gyllenhaal would star as Max Mermelstein, a Jewish hotel engineer who transformed Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel from a small mom-and-pop drug organization into a billion-dollar enterprise.
The company is also in post-production on a feature documentary about acclaimed photographer, Christopher Hondros, who was killed on assignment in Libya in 2011, as told by his best friend and journalist, Greg Campbell.
And, in television, it is developing an anthology series for A&E Network that explores major American cult personas over history. The first season highlights the story of cult leader Jim Jones, who was responsible for the 1978 mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana.
Gyllenhaal will start production on Bong Joon Ho’s Okja and Daniel Espinosa’s Life later this year. He next stars opposite Amy Adams in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.
Villeneuve is currently in post production on Story of your Life with Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams and soon begins production on Untitled Blade Runner Project starring Harrison Ford.
Gyllenhaal is represented by WME and Carlos Goodman of Bloom Hergott. Villeneuve is represented by CAA. Nesbo is represented by RWSG, The Salomonsson Agency and Keith Fleer.