Jake Gyllenhaal is reteaming with filmmaker Denis Villeneuve — having starred in the director’s Enemy and Prisoners — to bring Jo Nesbo’s crime novel The Son to the big screen.
Nine Stories and Bold Films (with which Nine Stories has a first-look and overhead deal) will produce, with Nine Stories’ Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker and Bold’s Michel Litvak producing. Bold’s Gary Michael Walters will executive produce with Niclas Salomonsson and Nesbo.
Written by the noted Scandinavian author, The Son tells the story of Sonny Lofthus, a once-gifted 15-year-old and promising wrestler, whose life enters a downward spiral when his cop father commits suicide. After spending 12 years in prison, Sonny escapes when he learns the truth of his father’s death and begins hunting down the people responsible for his wrongful sentence.
“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,” Marker said Thursday in announcing the project. “We were attracted to The Son because beneath its dark and violent exterior is a universal story about a man who seeks the truth.”
Nine Stories, Gyllenhaal’s new production company, recently completed principal photography on its first feature with Bold, David Gordon Green’s Stronger, in which Gyllenhaal stars as a working-class Boston man caught up in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Lionsgate will release the pic next year.
Meanwhile, Nine Stories is developing such other projects as Jack Hitt’s This American Life account of Lee Yopp, a former football coach who became a theater director and was hired by the U.S. Army to stage an annual music pageant at Fort Bragg, which Alex Timbers is to direct; and Antoine Fuqua’s The Man Who Made It Snow, based on David Mermelstein’s best-seller, in which Gyllenhaal is set to star. The company also is in postproduction on a feature documentary about photographer Christopher Hondros, who was killed while on assignment in Libya in 2011. For television, Nine Stories is developing an anthology series for A&E Networks; its first season will tell the story of cult leader Jim Jones.
Gyllenhaal, repped by WME and Bloom Hergott, will next be seen in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, which is set to be released in November. Villeneuve, repped by CAA, currently is in postproduction on Story of Your Life, with Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams, and will soon begin production on the new Blade Runner project starring Harrison Ford. Nesbo is repped by RWSG, The Salomonsson Agency and Keith Fleer.