Oscar winners Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech), and Joanna Laurie of See-Saw Films, produce with Christophe Spadone (The Father) alongside Zeller. Film4 are co-financing production.
Cross City Films and Embankment are launching international sales, with Cross City Films and CAA Media Finance co-representing U.S. rights.
Adapted by Zeller and Oscar-winner Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons), from Zeller’s acclaimed stage play, The Son focuses on Peter (Jackman) as his busy life with new partner Emma and their baby is thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate (Dern) turns up with their teenage son, Nicholas. The young man is is troubled, distant and angry, playing truant from school for months. Peter strives to be a better father, searching to help his son with those intimate and instinctive moments of family happiness. But the weight of Nicholas’ condition sets the family on a dangerous course.
Writer-director Zeller said: “The Son is a deeply human story which, I believe, connects us all; I hope audiences will be profoundly moved by this family’s journey. Both Hugh and Laura naturally convey great warmth, compassion, and vulnerability… inviting our audience to embrace and feel every moment. The story is set in a vibrant and very much alive New York, an important character. The movie should make us call family and friends to tell them that they are wholly loved and not alone.”
Zeller is enjoying acclaim for his debut movie The Father, released in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics in February. The film, starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, has won two BAFTAs and is nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Production Design, Leading Actor and Supporting Actress.
See-Saw’s Canning and Sherman commented: “Having been lucky enough to see The Father at Sundance 2019, we knew that Florian was a uniquely talented filmmaker. The Son is a story that needs to be told — a story that rings an alarm. Through examining the human condition and our vulnerabilities, this film will strike a chord with audiences and leave an indelible mark on all who see it.”
Executive producers are Jackman, Simon Gillis for See-Saw Films, Daniel Battsek, Lauren Dark and Ollie Madden for Film4, Philippe Carcassonne for Ciné-@ and Tim Haslam and Hugo Grumbar for Embankment.
Jackman is represented by WME and Lou Coulson Associates. Dern is withCAA and Untitled Entertainment. Zeller is repped by CAA. Hampton is represented by CAA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.