The English-language Force Majeure remake now has its leading roles and a pair of directors. Back in 2015, Emmy winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus signed on to star in an American iteration of the hilarious and sad 2014 Swedish film, which was famously (and shockingly) snubbed of a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination. Now Deadline reports that Will Ferrell is in talks to co-star opposite Louis-Dreyfus as a husband and wife duo who take their family for a vacation at a ski lodge, only for things to go south quickly.
In the Swedish version, an avalanche approaches the family as they’re enjoying a meal outdoors. The husband makes a run for it, forsaking his family for his own survival. Except the avalanche proves to only be a dusting, which means his family is still alive and fine—and pissed. What ensues in Ruben Östlund’s original film is a weird, sad, depressing, hilarious comedy that’s tough to pin down tonally, but a joy to watch.
For this English-language version, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash have now signed on to direct. Faxon and Rash are successful performers in their own right, but made their feature directorial debut with the 2013 dramedy The Way Way Back starring Steve Carell and Toni Collette. They won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Alexander Payne’s 2011 film The Descendants, but this Force Majeure remake marks their first directorial effort since helming episodes of Community in 2015.
While I’m a big fan of Ferrell and Dreyfus, I’m a bit worried that the diverse tonal range of the original will be lost in over-the-top comedy here. Hopefully I’m wrong—both Ferrell and Dreyfus have proven themselves adept at drama as well as comedy, so they could certainly go that route. One key piece of excitement for this remake is the fact that Jesse Armstrong, who wrote the film Four Lions and created the terrific HBO series Succession, wrote the screenplay. If anyone can maintain that balance of moral bankruptcy, compassion, and comedy, it’s Armstrong.
We’ll see soon enough as production on the Fox Searchlight picture is due to get underway in Austria in early 2019. Watch the trailer for the Swedish version below.