THR is reporting that Matthias is set to star in Clermont-Tonnerre’s “Mustang” alongside Jason Mitchell. The movie got picked up by Focus.
In one of the first major acquisitions on the ground in Cannes, Focus Features has nabbed worldwide rights, excluding France, to Mustang, a drama that will star Matthias Schoenaerts and Jason Mitchell and mark the feature directing debut of French helmer Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre.
Written by de Clermont-Tonnerre, Mona Fastvold and Brock Norman Brock, the film centers on a convict named Roman (Schoenaerts) who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program training wild mustangs. With little connection to his fellow inmates, Roman struggles to communicate with the animals. Working alongside young convict Henry (Mitchell), Roman forges a strong bond with a particularly difficult mustang, which forces him to confront his harsh past and innermost demons.
Actress-turned-director de Clermont-Tonnerre, whose credits in front of the camera include The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, developed Mustang through the Sundance Labs and received the Sundance Institute/NHK Award for the project in 2015. Production on the English-language film will begin in September.
“Laure’s project is in the classic tradition of movies illuminating the connection between human nature and animal instinct,” said Focus chairman Peter Kujawski. “Her vision for this project resonated powerfully to us, and the lead role is perfect for Matthias and his formidable talents.”
In France, the film will be distributed by France 3, Canal + and Ad Vitam. Alain Goldman (La Vie en Rose) is producing through his company Legende, with Molly Hallam executive producing.