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DreamWorks To Redo Japanese Cannes Entry ‘Like Father, Like Son’

Mike Fleming

Deadline revealed exclusively in August that DreamWorks will remake the Japanese film Japanese film Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru), and for some reason the trades are trumpeting it as a story a month later after the deal closed between the studio and Fuji TV. This is the film that got on the studio’s radar after DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg saw the Hirozaku Kore-Eda-directed drama when it screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May while he headed the jury. The pic received the Prix du Jury prize there. I had heard originally that Spielberg wanted to direct, but studio insiders denied that last month. In the film, an upper middle class career-oriented couple push their 6-year-old son to succeed in school as hard as they push themselves. They are shocked to discover from the hospital where the baby was born that a mistake was made, and that their biological son is being raised by another family. When the overachievers find that the other family is of modest means and not as ambitious as they are, the wealthy couple tries to wrest their actual son away.

Related: Spielberg’s Cannes Jury Duty Leads DreamWorks To Remake Deal On ‘Like Father, Like Son’

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Oscars: Another Cannes-Winning Sundance Selects Film Ruled Out Of Foreign Language Race

Pete Hammond

When it comes to this year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar race, it seems Sundance Selects just can’t catch a break. Coming out of Cannes, the company headed by Jonathan Sehring — who also runs IFC — looked like it easily could have two of the five nominees in the category, especially after its acquisitions took two of the top three prizes at Cannes. The French sensation Blue Is The Warmest Color won the coveted Palme d’Or (usually a key factor in considering a film for Oscar submission), while the Jury Prize (essentially third place) went to Japan’s moving and extremely well-received Like Father, Like Son, which so infatuated Cannes Jury President Steven Spielberg that his DreamWorks is negotiating for an English-language remake.

Related: Hammond On Cannes: ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’

It seemed at the time that both would be a cinch as their respective countries’ entry in the race, and Sundance Selects was riding high. But as Deadline reported in July, a quirky Academy rule that requires a foreign entry to have opened by September 30 in its country of origin KO’d Warmest Color’s chances, despite Sehring’s best efforts to turn it around. Unfortunately Wild Bunch, the film’s French distributor, was dead set on releasing it October 9, and a qualifying run was ruled out. Now, in what for me is an even more stunning setback, the seven-member Japan Movie Producers Association ignored its country’s high-profile Cannes winner and instead chose a more obscure film, The Great Passage (Fune O Amu) from 30-year-old director Yuya Ishii, the youngest ever to represent Japan in the Oscar contest. That film was released in April — doing nice, if unremarkable, business at the box office. Like Father, Like Son is scheduled for a September 28 release in Japan, a date presumably chosen to make it eligible for the Oscar race.  But it’s not to be. Read More »

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Steven Spielberg’s Cannes Jury Duty Leads DreamWorks To Remake Deal On ‘Like Father, Like Son’

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 12:44pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Who says jury duty is a waste of time? DreamWorks is negotiating right now with Fuji TV for remake rights to the Japanese film Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru). The catalyst for the deal: DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg seeing the Hirozaku Kore-Eda-directed drama when it screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May while he headed the jury. The film received the Prix du Jury prize there.

DreamWorks insiders confirm a deal is in the process of being made, but they deny that Spielberg is eyeing the film as something to possibly direct when the remake is developed. In the film, an upper middle class career-oriented couple push their 6-year-old son to succeed in school as hard as they push themselves. They are shocked to discover from the hospital where the baby was born that a mistake was made, and that their biological son is being raised by another family. When the overachievers find that the other family is of modest means and not as ambitious as they are, the wealthy couple tries to wrest their actual son away.

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CANNES: Sundance Selects Lands U.S. For ‘Like Father, Like Son’

Mike Fleming

Sundance Selects acquired U.S. rights to Japanese writer-director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Jury Prize Winner Like Father, Like Son from Wild Bunch. With a screenplay by Kore-eda, the film stars Fukuyama Masaharu, Ono Machiko, Maki Yoko, and Lily Franky, and was produced by Kameyama Chihiro, Hatanaka Tatsuro, and Tom Yoda. The film made its world premiere this week in Competition at the festival. Pic mixes drama and humor as the film examines the agony of two families who are informed that their 6-year-old sons were switched at birth. Sundance Selects’ sister label IFC Films previously released Hirokazu’s Still Walking and Nobody Knows. Deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Carole Baraton at Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers.

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