Neon, the Best Picture Oscar-winning studio behind Parasite, has acquired U.S. rights to the psychological thriller Mothers’ Instinct starring Academy Award winners Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway.
Set in the early ‘60s, it follows best friends and neighbors Alice (Chastain) and Celine (Hathaway), who 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.
Mothers’ Instinct is based on the novel Derrière la Haine by Barbara Abel. Writer Sarah Conradt (50 States of Fright) adapted the English-language script.
The Neon-distributed feature is a remake of the 2018 critically acclaimed Belgium movie Duelles from director Olivier Masset-Depasse. The filmmaker also will direct this English-language production, which begins shooting on May 25. Anton fully financed the pic.
Hathaway and Chastain will serve as producers, as well as Chastain’s partner Kelly Carmichael under their Freckle Films banner.
Hathaway recently starred in the Apple TV + series WeCrashed and next will be seen in James Gray’s Armageddon Time with Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Strong, which will premiere in Official Competition at Cannes. After receiving her first Academy Award for her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Chastain next will be seen opposite Ralph Fiennes in Roadside’s The Forgiven; opposite Michael Shannon in George & Tammy for Spectrum Originals and Paramount+, which she also produced; and Netflix’s The Good Nurse opposite Eddie Redmayne.
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On behalf of Freckle Films, Chastain and Carmichael said: “Neon is a true filmmaker’s haven. Their unique vision and distinctive campaigns are a reflection of their mission to bring the best and most diverse cinematic experience to US audiences. Mothers’ Instinct will be in excellent hands with Tom and the team.”
The thriller also is produced by Paul Nelson (Under My Skin, Pod Generation) at Mosaic and Jacques-Henri Bronckart (Duelles, The Nun). Anton’s Founder and CEO Sébastien Raybaud is overseeing the project with the financier’s John Zois, President of Production, who negotiated the deal with CAA. CAA Media Finance arranged the film’s financing and represented the project’s domestic rights alongside Anton. The deal was also negotiated by NeonN’s Jeff Deutchman, EVP Acquisitions & Production, with Cecile Gaget, Anton’s President of International Production and Distribution; and CAA Media Finance. Since optioning the original film and book and having fully financed this film from development through packaging, Anton will also be handling all foreign rights.
Gaget commented: “Mothers’ Instinct could not have found a more perfect home than with Neon. The amazing team brilliantly masterminded the theatrical release and awards strategy on films from Spencer, through to the groundbreaking success of Parasite.”
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Also at Cannes for Neon is the world premiere of David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, starring Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen, and Brett Morgen’s experiential, genre-defying documentary of David Bowie, Moonage Daydream. Neon recently notched six Oscar nominations for Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, which made history becoming the first film to score an impressive trifecta of Oscar nominations in the categories of Animated Feature, Documentary and International; Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World; and Pablo Larraín’s Spencer.
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