Sony Pictures Classics has snapped up distribution rights in the U.S. and various other countries to director Azazel Jacobs’ “French Exit,” slated to begin production in Montreal and Paris this October.
Written by Canadian novelist Patrick deWitt — who penned “The Sisters Brothers,” the modern-feeling western brought to the screen last year by director Jacques Audiard — “French Exit” will star Academy Award nominees Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges. DeWitt adapts the screenplay from his internationally bestselling novel of the same name, which was shortlisted for Canada’s prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Here is the synopsis, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics: “’My plan was to die before the money ran out,’ says 60-year-old penniless Manhattan socialite Frances Price (Pfeiffer), but things didn’t go as planned. Her husband Franklin has been dead for 20 years and with his vast inheritance gone, she cashes in the last of her possessions and resolves to live out her twilight days anonymously in a modest apartment in Paris, accompanied by her directionless son Malcolm (Hedges) and the embodiment of Franklin in the form of ‘Small Frank’, the family cat.”
Azazel Jacobs, who wrote and directed 2017’s “The Lovers” starring Debra Winger and playwright Tracy Letts as a couple in crisis, said in a statement, “To work with Sony Pictures Classics is a dream come true for me. They have given us so many beautiful, inspiring films over the years, and the incredible care and expertise with which they release them has always impressed me. As I prepare to embark on production, I am happy and relieved to know that ‘French Exit’ will ultimately be in their hands.”
Sony Pictures Classics added, “‘French Exit’ is the fresh, distinctive screenplay we’ve been looking for all year. Based on the spectacular bestselling novel by Patrick DeWitt with settings in the New York and Paris we’ve grown to love, DeWitt’s screenplay has dialogue, witty and strong and rich characters in the mold of the best Hollywood comedies. This promises goldmine performances from Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges. We couldn’t be more pleased to be working with director Azazel Jacobs, a formidable voice in independent film.”
SPC is gearing up for a busy fall season, supporting Pedro Almodóvar’s Cannes-winning “Pain and Glory” in the Oscar race, as well as Isabelle Huppert starrer “Frankie,” plus the documentaries “Aquarela” and “Where’s My Roy Cohn?”