Idina Menzel (“Frozen,” “Uncut Gems”) and Jae Suh Park (“The Big Short”) have joined Golden Globe nominee Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”) and Alan S. Kim (“Minari”) for “Latchkey Kids,” which David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment has boarded as its sales agent.
Starlings Entertainment is also now on board to co-produce and finance the feature, which Mister Smith is launching at this week’s European Film Market in Berlin where it bids fair to become one of the market standouts.
Directed by John J. Budion, whose feature debut was the acclaimed fest hit “Rockaway,” and with a script from Meaghan Cleary, “Latchkey Kids” is scheduled to start production in late Spring. Ken H. Keller and Caron Rudner of Related Pictures Group produce. Executive producers are Brendan Thomas of Luber Roklin, Cory Thompson, and RPG’s David Polemeni and Donald Malter.
“Latchkey Kids” stars Kim – who broke out melting hearts as the seven-year-old little son in “Minari” – here playing a bright nine-year-old whose aged baby-sitters keep on dying on the job. He befriends at the bus station an eccentric but tough teen girl (Fisher) who’s desperate to escape a dysfunctional life and her mother (Menzel).
She becomes his perfect babysitter – until the girl and mother are embroiled in a drug deal that goes awry and the boy must do whatever to save his new friend.
“Among her many accomplishments, Idina gave a tour de force performance in Adam Sandler’s black comedy ‘Uncut Gems’ and will undoubtedly bring a unique twist to this role,” said Mister Smith founder-CEO Garrett. “One cannot help but fall in love with these original and funny characters and we think audiences will be in for a real treat with this affectionate portrait of an unlikely friendship.”
“Latchkey Kids” “is that rare gem of a film that starts with a strong story having universal appeal and ends with a brilliant cast able to bring it to life on the screen. This dream cast of Idina, Elsie, Alan and Jae will be spectacular together and we are excited to begin production,” added Budion, Keller and Rudner.
Starlings Entertainment CEO Karine Martin commented: “The film is equal parts a heartwarming and hilarious story that reminds us all of the importance of friendship. Alan and Elsie are such incredible young performers whose relationship audiences will love to watch evolve from lonely kids to unlikely best friends who can weather even the worst of storms together.”
Menzel’s career took off with musical “Wicked.” She voiced Elsa and the song “Let It Go” in “Frozen,” which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. She reprised her role in “Frozen 2,” the highest-grossing animated feature of all time, and joined Adam Sandler in the Sadie Brothers’ critically acclaimed Independent Spirit Award-winning A24 film “Uncut Gems.”
Jae Suh Park’s feature film credits include “The Big Short,” “Purity,” “The Meddler” and “Candy-Coated Christmas.” Her numerous TV appearances and starring roles take in Netflix’s “Friends from College,” NBC’s “ER,” CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother,” FX’s “The League,” Fox’s “The Mindy Project,” TruTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything” and a reoccurring role in Netflix’s popular “Never Have I Ever.”
Menzel is represented by ICM, One Entertainment, Scooter Braun Projects and attorneys Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo. Park is represented by Gersh, Vault Entertainment, and law firm Myman Greenspan.