Playtime and Animal Kingdom have joined forces to package the English-language remake of “Goodnight Mommy,” the critically acclaimed Austrian psychological thriller.
Matt Sobel, who made his feature debut with the Sundance playing drama “Take Me To The River,” has been attached to direct “Goodnight Mommy” and is overseeing a draft written by Kyle Warren, based on their shared take on the original film.
David Kaplan, whose credits include “It Follows” and “It Comes at Night,” is on board to produce “Goodnight Mommy” on behalf of Animal Kingdom, alongside Nicolas Brigaud-Robert and Valery Guibal from Playtime, the Paris-based co-production/sales banner behind the Oscar-winning “Son of Saul” and “BPM.”
Expected to start shooting in the third quarter of 2019, “Goodnight Mommy” centers on Elias and his twin brother Lukas who arrive at their mother’s house to find her face covered in bandages. The result, she explains, of recent cosmetic surgery. Lukas delights in their mother’s uncharacteristically lax house rules, but Elias starts suspecting that this woman beneath the gauze, who’s preparing their food and sleeping in the next room, isn’t really their mother
The high-concept original film, directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala and produced by Ulrich Seidl, was released in the US by TWC-Radius following its North American premiere at Toronto in 2014. Franz and Fiala will both serve as executive producers on the remake.
“My favorite films are those that invite the audience to step inside their protagonist’s journey. Whether fear of abandonment, or the dreadful realization that those closest to us may not be who they seem, our re-imagining of Goodnight Mommy aims to create an immersive nightmare, with visceral sensations front and center,” said Sobel.
Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, Playtime co-founder, praised Sobel’s “amazingly creative vision in adapting the film.” “By choosing to shoot it in English, we are convinced the movie will have great audience impact around the world,” added the executive.
Kaplan, meanwhile, said the original movie was “one of the more chilling films in recent memory — Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s “Goodnight Mommy” represents a true feat of economical genre storytelling.”
Sobel is represented by WME, Cinetic Media and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern, LLP. Warren is represented by UTA and Writ Large. The deal was negotiated on behalf of Animal Kingdom by Bethany Haynes of Sloss Eckhouse LawCo.
Playtime is attending Toronto with Olivier Assayas’s “Non-Fiction” and László Nemes’s “Sunset,” both of which are playing in the Special Presentations section, as well as Markus Schleinzer’s “Angelo” in the competitive Platform section and Rythi Pahn’s “Graves Without A Name” at Tiff Docs.