Kirby, who was Oscar-nominated for “Pieces of a Woman,” will star in the film opposite Laura Dern and Hugh Jackman. As with “The Father,” “The Son” was adapted by Zeller and Christopher Hampton (“Dangerous Liaisons”), from Zeller’s critically acclaimed stage play. Zeller and Hampton just won the best adapted screenplay Oscar.
“The Son” focuses on Peter (Jackman) as his busy life with new partner Emma (Kirby) 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.
The film is being produced by Oscar winners Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (“The King’s Speech”), as well as Joanna Laurie of See-Saw Films and Christophe Spadone (“The Father”) alongside Zeller. Film4 are co-financing. Shooting is expected to start in the coming weeks.
“Vanessa Kirby is for me a very great actress: intense, inventive and powerful. I am especially happy to take her on this cinematic adventure,” said Zeller.
Laurie added that the project “holds a mirror up to our families and our emotions and we’re very excited to add Vanessa to the already exceedingly talented cast of Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern in bringing this story to life.”
In addition to her Oscar nod for “Pieces of a Woman,” Kirby won the Volpi Cup for best actress as the 2020 Venice Film Festival. She gained international acclaim for her portrayal of Princess Margaret in “The Crown,” winning a BAFTA Award for best supporting actress. Her film credits include “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and the Fast universe spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw.” She is also an Ian Charleston Award winner for her roles in “Three Sisters” and “Uncle Vanya.” Kirby’s upcoming projects include “Suddenly” from writer-director Thomas Bidegain, in which she will star with Jake Gyllenhaal.
International sales on “The Son” are being handled by Cross City Films and Embankment, with Cross City Films and CAA Media Finance co-repping U.S. rights.
Kirby is represented by CAA and Hamilton Hodell and Gregory Slewett at Ziffren Brittenham, and managed by Linden Entertainment. Florian Zeller is represented by CAA.
Zeller is rolling off “The Father” which won two BAFTAs and a pair of Oscars for adapted screenplay and leading actor for Sir Anthony Hopkins. “The Father” also earned Oscar nominations for best picture, editing, production design and supporting actress.