Neon Buys Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway Thriller ‘Mothers’ Instinct’

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Neon, the Oscar-winning studio behind “Parasite,” has acquired U.S. rights to “Mothers’ Instinct,” a psychological thriller starring Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway. It’s a pretty acclaimed group. Both actresses have Oscars of their own — Hathaway won her’s for “Les Miserables” and Chastain is a newly minted victor for her performance in last year’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”

“Mothers,” which is fully financed by Anton, is a remake of the 2018 critically acclaimed Belgium film “Duelles” by director Olivier Masset-Depasse. It will begin principal photography on May 25. The project has been in the works for some time. Sales were originally launched at AFM in 2020.

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Masset-Depasse will direct the English-language remake of his film. Hathaway and Chastain will serve as producers on the film. Chastain’s partner Kelly Carmichael will also produce under the pair’s Freckle Films banner.

Here’s the official logline: “Set in the early ‘60s, best friends and neighbors Alice (Chastain) and Celine (Hathaway) both live an idyllic traditional lifestyle with manicured lawns, successful husbands and sons of the same age. Life’s perfect harmony is suddenly shattered after a tragic accident. Guilt, suspicion and paranoia combine to unravel their sisterly bond and a psychological battle of wills begins as the maternal instinct reveals its darker side.”

Hathaway recently appeared Apple TV+’s “WeCrashed” and will next be seen in James Gray’s “Armageddon Time” alongside Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Strong. That film will premiere in official competition at Cannes. Chastain will next appear opposite Ralph Fiennes in Roadside’s “The Forgiven,” as well as star with Michael Shannon in “George & Tammy” for Spectrum Originals and Paramount Plus, which she also produced, and Netflix’s “The Good Nurse” with Eddie Redmayne.

“Neon is a true filmmaker’s haven,” Chastain and Carmichael said. “Their unique vision and distinctive campaigns are a reflection of their mission to bring the best and most diverse cinematic experience to U.S. audiences.”

The deal was negotiated by Neon’s Jeff Deutchman, EVP of acquisitions and production, with Cecile Gaget, Anton’s president of international production and distribution, and CAA Media Finance. Anton will also be handling all international rights.

Neon will be at Cannes to debut David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future” starring Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, and Viggo Mortensen and Brett Morgen’s look at the career of David Bowie, “Moonage Daydream.”

“Mothers’ Instinct” is based on the novel “Derrière la Haine” by Barbara Abel. Sarah Conradt (“50 States of Fright”) adapted the English language script.

“Mothers’ Instinct” is also produced by Paul Nelson at Mosaic and Jacques-Henri Bronckart.

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