French playwright-turned-director Florian Zeller is having a good week. His directorial debut The Father just collected six Oscar nominations, and he has now revealed that he’s currently finishing writing the adaptation to another of his plays, The Son.
As you could probably surmise, The Son is connected to The Father. The films form a trio with another of Zeller’s plays, The Mother.
While The Father is the story of a man’s slow slide into dementia as he confusingly wanders through a mental hall of mirrors, failing to recognise his daughter, The Son revolves around teenage depression, charting the upheaval of divorce and adolescence within the same family.
Zeller reportedly has the actors in mind who he wants to play the lead roles, but he’s not revealing his choices for fear they won’t come true. Zeller also pictured his lead actor in The Father early on, even changing the lead character’s name to Anthony to up the chances that he would get Anthony Hopkins for the role.
“I really love actors; I love working with them”, Zeller said. “But also, to me, to love and to admire an actor is something that’s the beginning of the process for me, of the writing, of the dreaming, and so, yes, I have my actors, at least in my head. I don’t know if it will be the reality or not. But we will see”.
The Father was nominated for Best Picture and also garnered adapted screenplay nominations for Zeller and his longtime translation partner Christopher Hampton, and also for Hopkins, making him the oldest acting nominee in Academy history.
There were also nominations for supporting actress Olivia Colman, production designer Peter Francis with set decorator Cathy Featherstone, and editor Yorgos Lamprinos.
Considering the critical success of The Father – it also garnered six nominations at the BAFTAs – it seems highly likely that Zeller will have his pick of actors for The Son, who will be lining up for their own potential awards success.