Cannes: Cornerstone, X Filme Team for 'Changeling' Remake (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Cornerstone
Cornerstone co-presidents Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder.

The film will be Cornerstone's first original feature and marks a strategic shift at the group, which is following other sales outfits into the production space.

International sales outfit Cornerstone Films is moving into production with a remake of 1980s supernatural classic The Changeling.

Cornerstone has partnered with Tom Tykwer's Berlin-based X Filme (Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas) on the project, which is based on the 1980 feature from director Peter Medak that starred George C. Scott.

The film will be Cornerstone's first original feature and marks a strategic shift at the group, which is following other sales outfits into the production space. This year, Beta Cinema, a sister company to X Filme co-owner Beta Film, took a minority stake in Cornerstone with an eye to pulling resources in order to produce, finance and sell commercially driven English-language features.

Cornerstone and X Filme have close ties, with Cornerstone recently handling world sales on X Filme's Alone in Berlin, starring Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson.

“There are almost no pure sales agents left,” said Cornerstone co-president Alison Thompson, explaining the move into production. “With the presales business becoming so difficult, focusing on European co-productions [with X Filme] is not such a crazy thing to do.”

Mark Steven Johnson (Finding Steve McQueen) will write and direct the Changeling remake. The new film shifts the action from the U.S. to Venice, Italy. After the death of his young daughter, musician Joe Carmichael returns to his childhood home in Italy. But he finds the house is haunted by the spirit of a dead child and begins to uncover a terrifying family secret. Casting is underway, and production is set to begin in Venice in early 2019.

Joel Michaels, who produced the original Changeling and whose credits include Terminator: Salvation and Lolita, will produce the remake with Uwe Schott and Stefan Arndt of X Filme. Cornerstone toppers Thompson and Mark Gooder will executive produce. Michaels is now producing Bart Freundlich's U.S. remake of Susanne Bier's After the Wedding, starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams, which Cornerstone is selling in Cannes.

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 9 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.