EXCLUSIVE: Euro financier Anton is launching sales on buzzy AFM package Mothers’ Instinct, which will star Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain and Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway as 1960’s housewives whose relationship takes a dark turn.
The psychological thriller will follow best friends and neighbors Alice (Chastain) and Celine (Hathaway) who both live an idyllic traditional lifestyle with manicured lawns, successful husbands and sons of the same age. Life’s perfect harmony is suddenly shattered after a tragic accident. Guilt, suspicion and paranoia combine to unravel their sisterly bond and a psychological battle of wills begins as the maternal instinct reveals its darker side.
Writer-director Olivier Masset-Depasse will helm the feature, which is an English-language remake of his 2018 Belgian movie Duelles, which won a record nine Magritte Awards from the Belgian Academy including Best Film and Best Director.
The film is based on the novel Derrière La Haine by novelist Barbara Abel. Writer Sarah Conradt (50 States of Fright) is adapting the English-language script.
Pic is being produced by Jessica Chastain and Kelly Carmichael of Chastain’s Freckle Films (The 355), and Paul Nelson at Mosaic and Jacques-Henri Bronckart (The Nun).
CAA Media Finance arranged the film’s financing and is representing the project’s domestic rights alongside Anton. Producer and financier Anton will fully finance and executive-produce the project with Anton’s founder and CEO Sébastien Raybaud overseeing the project with John Zois, Anton’s EVP Acquisitions and Co-Productions, who negotiated the deal with CAA.
Anton’s President of International Production and Distribution, Cecile Gaget, will oversee worldwide sales at the online AFM.
Writer and director Masset-Depasse (Illegal) stated: “It takes actors of Jessica and Anne’s caliber to communicate the intricacy of these two roles. The relationship between a mother and child is the most powerful connection between two human beings. When this bond is severed, it calls into question conventional morality and even sanity. In the behind-closed-doors atmosphere of 1960’s America, Mothers’ Instinct becomes a terrifying, high-pressure powder keg.”
Anton Founder and CEO, Sébastien Raybaud commented: “Audiences could not wish for a more dynamic match-up on screen. Both character roles are wonderfully complex and will showcase Jessica and Anne’s incredible breadth of talent. Olivier has already proven adept at this twist on the Hitchcockian genre and we have great faith in his ability to deliver a compelling thriller.”
Chastain recently began production opposite Oscar Isaac on Scenes From A Marriage, an adaption of Ingmar Bergman’s 1970s miniseries for HBO. She recently wrapped The Eyes Of Tammy Faye and The Forgiven.
Hathaway can currently be seen in Robert Zemeckis’ update of The Witches and upcoming has Sesame Street and Lockdown.
Hathaway is repped by CAA, Suzan Bymel at Management 360, and by Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Chastain is represented by CAA, Paul Nelson at Mosaic, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman, and Imprint PR.
Masset-Depasse is represented by UTA, Paul Nelson and Jeremy Berney at Mosaic, and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher. Conradt is repped by Abram Nalibotsky and Danny Toth at The Gersh Agency, Sukee Chew at Hopscotch Pictures, and Annie Lee at Gang, Tyre, Ramer and Brown.
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