Florian Zeller is moving through the family tree. On Tuesday, it was announced that Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern would star in Zeller’s newest film, “The Son.” Oscar-winners Iain Canning and Emile Sherman at See-Saw Films will produce the film alongside Film-4.
Zeller’s current film, “The Father“, starring Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins, is nominated for several Academy Awards. Both “The Father” and “The Son” are adaptations of Zeller’s highly acclaimed plays, and yes, he also has a play titled “The Mother. There is no narrative through-line between each of Zeller’s three stories; the only connection remains the familial strife at the heart of each story.
“The Son” focuses on the relationship between two parents, Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern, and their mentally ill-son. It co-aligns with Zeller’s aim to dramatize ailments plaguing people at a certain age. The playwright tackled dementia in “The Father”, middle-aged angst in “The Mother”, and now teenage depression in “The Son.” And, like the cast of “The Father”, Zeller’s newest film certainly has some star power behind it.
Hugh Jackman doesn’t get enough credit for his dramatic acting. The Oscar-nominated actor is perhaps most recognized for his role as X-Men’s Wolverine, but its his performance as a vengeful father in Denis Villeneuve’s “Prisoners” that truly showcases Jackman’s prowess. With a booming voice and a withering stare, I’m excited to see the Wolverine play an intense father figure in the upcoming Zeller movie.
Playing opposite Jackman is Laura Dern. Dern, who won an Academy role last year for “Marriage Story“, is the perfect choice for the matriarch of “The Son.” Her vocal intonations can transition from vulnerable to furious in a matter of seconds, and her gawky yet elegant physicality lends itself to every role the actress takes on. “The Son” is the epitome of Oscar bait, and I predict nominations for both Jackman and Dern.