Jake Gyllenhaal is set to reunite with his Prisoners and Enemy helmer Denis Villeneuve with an adaptation of Jo Nesbo‘s critically acclaimed suspense novel, The Son. Villeneuve will direct the film, which follows a long-imprisoned drug addict who stages a breakout on a mission of vengeance when he discovers the surprising truths behind his father’s suicide. Villeneuve will also develop the adaptation alongside Nine Stories producers Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker, and Bold Film’s Michel Litvak.
Gyllenhaal is one of the most exciting young actors on the scene right now, and he’s quickly becoming a producer to watch, too. He made his producing debut with the extraordinary Nightcrawler (which also happened to be his best performance to date), and has since partnered with Bold Films (who also produced Dan Gilroy’s seedy thriller as well as Drive and Whiplash) through his and Marker’s Nine Stories Banner.
On The Son, Marker commented:
“Denis is one of the most inspiring filmmakers working today, and partnering with him on The Son represents everything that Jake and I strived for when we launched the company. Provocative and edgy material in collaboration with a visionary storyteller. We were attracted to The Son because beneath its dark and violent exterior is a universal story about a man who seeks the truth.”
The nascent production company recently wrapped on their first feature film, David Gordon Green‘s Stronger, which stars Gyllenhaal as a working-class Bostonian in the midst of the Boston Marathon bombing. Additionally, they’ve lined up the Alex Timber‘s adaptation of the popular This American Life account of Lee Yopp, a former football coach turned theater director recruited by the US Army to stage a music pageant; the Antoine Fuqua directed cartel drama, The Man Who Made it Snow, which will star Gyllenhaal as the Jewish hotel engineer who helped transform Pablo Escobar’s infamous cartel into a billion-dollar enterprise; and an anthology series for A&E exploring major cult personas throughout history, beginning with Jim Jones, aka the man responsible for the horrific Jonestown mass murder-suicide.
The Son is the latest project on the docket, and it reteams Gyllenhaal with one of his finest collaborators. After earning wide attention with 2013’s Prisoners, Villeneve has taken full advantage of his window, releasing the tremendous and mind-bending doppleganger drama Enemy in 2104 and the pulse-pounding drug war drama Sicario last year. Next up, he’s set to helm the Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling led Blade Runner sequel. He’s a filmmaker who continues to surprise, and his previous two collaborations with Gyllenhaal have led to three of the actor’s best performances (Gyllenhaal gets to do double duty in Enemy and it’s a grand thing to behold). On the story end, Nesbo is an acclaimed author with a devoted fan base known for taut, comelling thrillers and he’s a bit of a hot property right now (his novel The Snowman is getting a Michael Fassbender-led adaptation from Thomas Alfredson). All things considered that’s a lot of quality talent backing The Son, and a film we should all probably start getting excited about.
Here’s the official plot breakdown for The Son:
The Son follows the life of Sonny Lofthus, a once gifted 15-year-old and promising wrestler, whose downward spiral ensues when his cop father commits suicide. For the past twelve years, Sonny’s time in prison has been nurtured by an uninterrupted supply of heroin from a seedy chaplain on the inside. When Sonny learns long-hidden truths about his father’s unexpected death, he makes a brilliant escape and begins hunting down the people responsible for his wrongful sentence.