×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ari Folman Set to Direct ‘The Horse Boy’ With Lea Seydoux, Joel Kinnaman (EXCLUSIVE)

Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman, whose 2008 “Waltz With Bashir” nabbed a foreign-language Oscar nom, is set to write and direct “The Horse Boy,” an English-language feature based on Rupert Isaacson’s New York Times bestseller that will topline current Cannes jury member Léa Seydoux and Joel Kinnaman.

Gaumont has come on board to co-produce, take international sales and handle French distribution on the ambitious film, one of the hottest titles being pitched at Cannes. Gaumont and Endeavor Content are co-repping U.S rights.

Folman’s first full-on live-action movie, “The Horse Boy” is being produced by Didar Domehri — whose “Girls of the Sun” is competing at Cannes — Laurent Baudens and Gael Nouaille at Full House, the joint label of French banners Maneki Films and Borsalino Prods. Diana Elbaum at Belgium’s Beluga Tree is also producing.

The film follows the journey of Emily and Jonathan’s son, Noah, an autistic child who rarely talks and isn’t improving despite his parents’ efforts to connect with him. When Jonathan notices that Noah is more peaceful and seems more able to communicate while riding horses, he sets off to take his family for a ride through the Mongolian plains to meet shamans in order to cure his son.

“‘Horse Boy’ is a passion project for Folman, who said he felt compelled to explore this important story in a cinematic way. “‘Horse Boy’ is a love story about a man and a woman who, against all odds are willing to take the biggest possible risk, not only to rescue their son, but to rescue their love for each other, their memories of the bond they used to share,” said Folman, who added that Mongolia will be portrayed in a unique way in the film.

Gaumont, France 2 Cinéma, Zentropa Sweden, Israel’s Pie Films, Belgium’s Proximus and Monte Rosso Production are co-producing, in association with Film i Vast and the Swedish Film Institute. Film i Vast will host a big press lunch to present “Horse Boy” on Saturday.

The movie has been pre-bought by Canal Plus and Cine Plus and is backed by Creative Europe’s Media Program, Caviar Film Financing and the Tax Shelter of the Federal Belgium Government, Screen.brussels and the Federation Wallonia Brussels.

“The Horse Boy” will start shooting in October in Sweden, the U.K. and Mongolia.

The film is lensed by Michal Englert, who worked with Folman on his previous film, “The Congress,” with Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel and Jon Hamm.

More Film

  • Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home

    Film News Roundup: Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home for Christmas'

    In today’s film news roundup, “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” is in the works, the NFL has made a documentary about female team owners and D Street Pictures has signed Kenny Gage and Devon Downs to direct the dance feature “Move.” HOLIDAY PROJECT Miramax has acquired film rights to Lauren Iungerich’s holiday-themed screenplay “I [...]

  • Michael B. Jordan arrives at the

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Warner Bros.' 'Methuselah' Movie

    Michael B. Jordan will produce and star in a “Methuselah” movie for Warner Bros., based on the Biblical story of a man who lived to be 969 years old. Jordan will produce through his Outlier Society production company along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Warner Bros. has been developing the project for many [...]

  • Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping

    Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping Italy's Top Film Awards

    Piera Detassis recently became the first woman to head the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars. Since then she’s been busy overhauling the inner workings of the prizes that will be awarded on Wednesday. Detassis, also the editor of Italian film publication Ciak, spoke exclusively to Variety about the challenges she’s faced [...]

  • Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards

    Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards Race

    With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low. Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with [...]

  • steven spielberg Apple TV Plus

    Steven Spielberg's Apple Appearance Riles Up Social Media: 'Big Old Mixed Message'

    Many Hollywood heavyweights flocked to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters to help reveal the tech giant’s revamped steaming service Apple TV+ on Monday — but one such legend was so polarizing he became a national trending topic on Twitter for simply showing his face. Steven Spielberg was the first to appear in a dramatic short film [...]

  • Michael Lynne

    Former New Line Co-Chairman Michael Lynne Dies at 77

    Michael Lynne, the former co-chairman of New Line Cinema who played a key role in shepherding “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died at his New York home. He was 77. Lynne’s death was confirmed Monday by longtime business partner Robert Shaye, who told Variety that Lynne’s family had informed him of Lynne’s passing [...]

  • Marisa Liston

    Sony Veteran Marisa Liston to Lead Lionsgate Movie Publicity

    Lionsgate has named Sony Pictures veteran executive Marisa Liston to lead all feature film and motion picture group publicity and communications strategy. Liston, who departed Sony in late 2018 after 17 years, has been assigned the newly created title of head of global earned media and communications. She will oversee domestic and international feature film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content