Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar with “The Silence of the Lambs,” and Olivia Colman, who just picked up the Academy Award for “The Favourite,” will star in Florian Zeller’s movie adaptation of his hit stage play “The Father.”
Principal photography begins this month in the U.K. Financing has been arranged by Viewfinder and Embankment, and is provided by Elarof Fund and Film4.
Hopkins stars in the title role as a mischievous and highly independent man who, as he ages, refuses all assistance from his daughter Anne (Colman). Yet such help has become essential, following Anne’s decision to move to Paris with her partner. As Anne’s father tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and reality itself.
Zeller will direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with Christopher Hampton (“Atonement,” “Dangerous Liaisons”).
The 2012 play, written and directed by Zeller, was first launched in Paris, winning a Moliere Award for best play, before hitting Broadway and London’s West End, where it won both Tony and Olivier awards for best actor.
Zeller, a novelist as well as a playwright, won the prestigious Prix Interallié for his novel “The Fascination of Evil.” The Guardian has described him as “the most exciting new theater writer of our time.” Zeller has also written “The Mother” and “The Son,” which are related to “The Father” thematically but are not sequels.
“The Father” follows Embankment’s success with “The Wife,” for which the London-based sales and financing company arranged full financing and which lost out on an Academy Award for its star Glenn Close to Colman for the Film4-backed “The Favourite.”
“The Father” is a Trademark Films, FCommeFilm, Ciné-@ and Les Films du Cru co-production, produced by David Parfitt (“Red Joan,” “Shakespeare in Love”), Jean-Louis Livi (“Read My Lips,” “Un Coeur en Hiver”) and Philippe Carcassonne (“Coco Before Chanel,” “Ridicule”). Christophe Spadone for Les Films du Cru and the stage play’s producer, Simon Friend, also produce.
Viewfinder’s Paul Grindey executive produces, alongside Daniel Battsek, Lauren Dark and Ollie Madden for Film4. Embankment executive produces and represents worldwide sales, excluding France. CAA, UTA and Embankment co-represent the U.S.
Embankment’s Tim Haslam said: “’The Father’ is a deeply personal performance showcase for Hopkins and Colman – a universally affecting story to which the audience directly relate their own lives and families. Florian has a cinematic voice that will put the audience on the edge of their seats.”