EXCLUSIVE: The directing team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) will direct The People Upstairs, a film that will be financed by FilmNation. Rashida Jones & Will McCormack wrote the script. David Permut will produce with FilmNation. Production is planned for later this year.
The film is an English-language remake of Sentimental, the Goya-winning Spanish film that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2020. Permut (Hacksaw Ridge, Face/Off) picked up the rights shortly after seeing it there. Dayton & Faris are very particular about their projects. They last directed the 2017 Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs film Battle of the Sexes.
The People Upstairs is about a middle-aged couple who are feeling stagnant in their relationship and invite the younger and livelier couple from the apartment upstairs for a get-together that takes an unexpected turn. The original comedy was directed by Cesc Gay, who also wrote and directed the play the film was based on. Gay had previously directed the Cannes film Truman.
Sentimental was nominated for a European Film Award for Best Comedy, as well as for five Goya Awards of which Alberto San Juan won for Best Supporting Actor.
Permut Presentations’ Alex Astrachan will be co-producer on the remake.
Jones & McCormack previously wrote the 2012 Sundance comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever, which got an Indie Spirit Awards nom. Jones won a Grammy for Best Music Film in 2019 for Quincy and McCormick won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film last year for If Anything Happens I Love You.
Permut has CODA helmer Siân Heder’s next film, Being Heumann, at Apple as well as the Face/Off sequel at Paramount and the Taylor Sheridan series Bass Reeves for Paramount+ that will star David Oyelowo.
Dayton & Faris are repped by UTA and Sloane Offer; Jones is with UTA and attorney James Adams; and McCormack is with UTA and attorney Erik Hyman. Permut is repped by John Tishbi at Pearlman & Tishbi.
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