Animal Kingdom star Ben Mendelsohn has joined the cast of Coco Before Chanel helmer Anne Fontaine’s English-language directorial debut. Naomi Watts and Robin Wright topline the drama which has been going by the name The Grandmothers, but which is now expected to get a title change. Gaumont’s Cécile Gaget also confirms to me that Sophie Lowe of Aussie TV hit The Slap and veteran actor Gary Sweet have boarded the picture with Animal Kingdom co-star James Frecheville and Twilight: Eclipse‘s Xavier Samuel.

The Fontaine film is based on a novella by Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing. Oscar-winner Christopher Hampton adapted the book for the screen. The France-Australia co-production is produced by Ciné@’s Philippe Carcassonne, Françis Boespflug on behalf of Gaumont, Dominique Besnehard and Michel Feller for Mon Voisin Productions and Hopscotch’s Andrew Mason. Gaumont has international sales on the film which gets underway in Oz this week. The busy Mendelsohn’s upcoming credits include Andrew Dominik’s Cogan’s Trade and Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond The Pines.

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