Russell Crowe to Star in ‘American Son,’ a Remake of Gritty French Film ‘A Prophet’

     May 13, 2020

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Damn. When Russell Crowe gets Unhinged, he gets unhinged. Merely one day after we reported on Crowe’s psychological thriller Unhinged earning the notorious reputation as the first film to be distributed in theaters since the coronavirus quarantine, Variety reports he has signed on to star in American Son, a remake of gritty French crime classic A Prophet.

Crowe will play an infamous, ruthless mobster who mentors a young man sent to prison (as of yet uncast) into building a relentless crime syndicate — all before the young man turns on Crowe himself. I think that — The Insider notwithstanding — Crowe is at his best when he’s a pressure cooker of menace and dread, and this film sounds like the perfect role for him to lock into that kind of mode again. Crowe was most recently seen in True History of the Kelly Gang, a true story from director Justin Kurzel.

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Image via Universal Pictures

A Prophet, the source film for American Son, was directed by Jacques Audiard, centering around a young Arab man (Tahar Rahim) who is sent to a French prison and becomes the kingpin of his own crime syndicate. That film won the 2009 Cannes Grand Prix and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film. The new take is directed by Rapman, whom we recently interviewed for his debut feature, Blue Story. Here’s what Rapman had to say about what excited him about American Son:

It’s very, very different. You will relate to it very differently. I’m making it very modern. I’m making the story just as powerful, but we’re talking about different ethnic races. It’s going well so far. We’ve been casting and location scouting, and done all of that. We’re nearly there with it and we’re about to hopefully close a deal with our lead actor. If we get who we’re trying to get, it’s gonna be really special. I see why everybody loves A Prophet, and I think they’re gonna love American Son just as much. The journey that we’re gonna go down, even though it is really similar to A Prophet, it’s also very unique and very standalone compared to the original. That’s all I can really say. I can’t wait to start filming it.

Was the “lead actor” he referenced Crowe? Or are we about to find out who plays the lead, young man? We’ll keep you posted as soon as we know more. And for more on Crowe, check out these fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from Gladiator.

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