Naomi Watts is set to star in and executive produce the English-language remake of the hit Austrian psychological thriller “Goodnight Mommy,” set up at Amazon Studios.
The streamer will mount the remake with indie prestige label Animal Kingdom and production company Playtime. Released in 2014, the original film became a cult classic and was selected as the Austrian entry for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards.
Matt Sobel (“Take Me To The River”) is directing from a script by Kyle Warren. David Kaplan, Joshua Astrachan, Valery Guibal and Nicolas Brigaud-Robert are producing. In addition to Watts, the original film’s directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz will serve as executive producers.
Playtime acquired the remake rights and developed the new film with Playtime. Amazon is financing and releasing worldwide.
“Goodnight Mommy” follows twin brothers who, when sent to stay with their mother, are surprised to find her swathed in bandages from a recent procedure. As her behavior grows increasingly erratic and unusual, the twins become convinced she is an imposter. Their suspicion sets off a roller-coaster of emotional mind games and misunderstandings between mother and her children, that eventually explodes with irreparable and heartbreaking consequences.
“My favorite films are those that invite the audience to step inside their protagonist’s journey. In our re-imagining of Goodnight Mommy, fear of abandonment — and the dreadful realization that those close to us may not be who they seem — create an immersive nightmare, with visceral sensations front and center. I can’t wait to create this heart-stopping story with Amazon and the peerless Naomi Watts,” said Sobel.
Watts is a two-time Academy Award nominee, for Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s “21 Grams” and, later, Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Impossible.” She can currently be seen in the TIFF-selected family drama “Penguin Bloom,” the Netflix original based on the true story and best-selling book about a mom coping with the aftermath of a harrowing accident. She will next be seen in Phillip Noyce’s “Lakewood” and is currently filming the thriller “Infinite Storm” for Bleecker Street. She is a producer on both films.
Watts is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. Sobel’s “Take Me To The River” premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. He is repped by WME, Cinetic Media and Sloane Offer Weber Dern. Franz and Fiala are repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman. Kyle Warren is repped by Writ Large.
Playtime is a Paris-based hybrid finance, sales and international production company active since 1997 and committed to giving a voice to talents from around the world. It has been a key enabler for movies by Céline Sciamma, Jacques Audiard, François Ozon, Robin Campillo, Naomi Kawase, László Nemes, Claire Denis, and many others. Recent successes include the Oscar-winning “Son of Saul,” Cannes winner “BPM,” and Berlin winner “By The Grace of God.”
Founded in 2012, Animal Kingdom has been responsible for some of the most distinctive and acclaimed American independent cinema of the past near-decade, including: “Short Term 12,” “It Follows,” “Paterson,” “It Comes at Night,” “Beach Rats,” and “The Dead Don’t Die.” The Brooklyn-based company’s mission is to elevate singular voices, challenge convention and to make vivid, beautiful and original work.