Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the U.S. rights to “French Exit,” the next film from director and writer Azazel Jacobs that will star Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges, the distributor announced Saturday.
SPC also nabbed rights in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, China and worldwide airlines. Production on the film will begin in October in Montreal and Paris. Tracy Letts was also previously reported to be starring.
“French Exit” is based on the book of the same name by Canadian novelist Patrick deWitt, which was short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. It’s a surrealist, dark comedy that follows a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York and travel to Paris after they’re caught up in a financial scandal. Here’s the full synopsis:
“My plan was to die before the money ran out,” says 60-year-old penniless Manhattan socialite Frances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer), but things didn’t go as planned. Her husband Franklin has been dead for 20 years and with his vast inheritance gone, she cashes in the last of her possessions and resolves to live out her twilight days anonymously in a modest apartment in Paris, accompanied by her directionless son Malcolm (Hedges) and the embodiment of Franklin in the form of ‘Small Frank’, the family cat.
“To work with Sony Pictures Classics is a dream come true for me. They have given us so many beautiful, inspiring films over the years, and the incredible care and expertise with which they release them has always impressed me. As I prepare to embark on production, I am happy and relieved to know that French Exit will ultimately be in their hands,” Jacobs said in a statement.
DeWitt added: “When I wrote the novel and screenplay I couldn’t have imagined a more exciting cast to embody these characters. Sony Classics is a dream distributor consistently delivering smart, quality work. I’m honored to be working with this incredibly talented team.”
“‘French Exit’ is the fresh, distinctive screenplay we’ve been looking for all year. Based on the spectacular best selling novel by Patrick deWitt with settings in the New York and Paris we’ve grown to love, deWitt’s screenplay has dialogue, witty and strong and rich characters in the mold of the best Hollywood comedies,” Sony Pictures Classics said in a statement.
Pfeiffer will next be seen in “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” Hedges will next be seen in “Honey Boy” and has “Waves” playing at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. Jacobs is the director of most recently “The Lovers,” but also the indies “Terri” and “Momma’s Man.
The Canadian/ Irish international co-production of “French Exit” is produced by Rocket Science, Elevation Pictures, Screen Siren Pictures and Blinder Films. CAA Media Finance and Rocket Science brokered the deal with Sony Pictures Classics.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions previously picked up all other international territories for the film excluding Canada and Switzerland.