‘Free Guy’ Director Shawn Levy To Helm De-Aging Father-Daughter Tale ‘Backwards’

Shawn Levy and Netflix are teaming up once again. One of the prominent creatives on Stranger Things and director of a number of projects, including upcoming film The Adam Project, has signed on to helm another project for the streaming giant.

This one is a drama titled Backwards, an adaptation of the short story by mother-son duo Julianna Baggott and Finneas Scott.

The story focuses on a dying father who chooses a method to extend his life that involves reverse aging in a de-aging facility. Appointed to be his caretaker is his estranged daughter. As the years peel off, they are able to get to the core of where they went wrong as the father relives the memory of different portions of his life, experiences which made him an unlikeable person.

Deadline reports that there was a six-way bidding war for the project, but it makes sense that Levy and Netflix would collaborate again considering their previous working relationship.

Levy will also produce the film under his 21 Laps banner alongside Dan Cohen, who are also producing The Adam Project, which just wrapped filming. Curiously, that film has a somewhat similar premise, revolving around a man who travels back in time to get help from his younger self to confront their late father.

Levy is also currently working on an adaptation of novel All The Light We Cannot See, and is also in line to helm the second season of Shadow And Bone.

Both of those projects are also at Netflix, though 21 Laps is also developing a new version of Cheaper By The Dozen, an animated Night At The Museum film, and sci-fi adventure film Crater for Disney+.

Levy also helmed last year’s comedy Free Guy, and him and 21 Laps are also working on the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things. Where he’ll get the time to direct Backwards is anyone’s guess, but it’s clear he has a knack for stories revolving around children and their complex relationship to their parents.

We’ll see if Backwards can hit the emotional buttons its premise is promising.


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