Actor Will Ferrell is lining up a curious new project. It was announced today that he is set to star in the comedy Tom’s Dad for director Lasse Hallström, the filmmaker behind The Cider House Rules and Chocolat. The film takes place in 1960s Nevada and revolves around a struggling nightclub performer hoping to make it big with his stage act featuring circus animals (yes, Ferrell will play a circus ringleader). He is subsequently forced to reconnect with his estranged 12-year-old son when his ex-wife departs on a three-week trip, leaving the two to rekindle their relationship. Martin Casella (One Night Stand) penned the original screenplay.
Further casting is currently underway with the aim to start production in early 2016. Hallström’s been doing his fair share of Nicholas Sparks movies as of late, helming Dear John and Safe Haven, as well as last year’s Helen Mirren-fronted The Hundred-Foot Journey. The pairing of Ferrell and Hallström is an interesting one, and I’ll be curious to see if it results in a more dramatic vehicle for Ferrell.
The actor is currently filming the comedy Daddy’s Home opposite Mark Wahlberg, with We’re the Millers directors Sean Anders and John Morris at the helm. He’s also poised to play filmmaker Russ Meyer in the Michael Winterbottom-directed Russ & Roger Go Beyond, with John Gad onboard to play Roger Ebert.
Read the Tom’s Dad press release below.
Cannes, FRANCE (May 16, 2015) – Box office winner and Golden Globe nominee Will Ferrell (GET HARD, ANCHORMAN 1 and 2) will star in the comedy TOM’S DAD to be directed by Oscar nominated director Lasse Hallström (THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY), it was announced today by producers Joni Levin and Keith Clarke (THE WAY BACK, upcoming BEN HUR) of Point Blank Productions, Christi Dembrowski and Johnny Depp of Infinitum Nihil (HUGO, RUM DIARY, DARK SHADOWS) and Arsenal’s John Ptak (LET ME IN, THE WAY BACK).
Fortitude International, co-founded by Nadine de Barros, Robert Ogden Barnum and Daniel Wagner, is handling foreign sales on the project and is presenting it to buyers at the Cannes Film Market. De Barros is supported by her sales team including Katie Irwin, VP of International and Samantha Peel, Director of International Sales and Marketing.
Peter D. Graves (TERMINATOR SALVATION, W.) is executive producing, as well as providing marketing and distribution oversight.
Emmy-Award winning production designer Thomas A. Walsh (ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” A&E’s “Longmire”) will co-produce.
UTA Independent Film Group is handling North American rights.
Martin Casella (ONE NIGHT STAND) wrote the original screenplay with revisions by Clarke.
Principal photography on the feature film is slated to begin early next year, with further casting underway.
Set in 1960s Nevada, Arthur (Ferrell) is a struggling nightclub performer hoping to make it big with his stage act involving circus animals. He is forced to reconnect with his estranged 12-year old son, Tom, when his ex-wife departs on a three week trip, leaving the pair to rekindle their father-son relationship.
“When great talent like Will Ferrell and Lasse Hallström connect so personally to great material, you have to believe the movie Gods are on your side,” said Levin.
“Will Ferrell is one of the most in demand actors working today who drives audiences to theatres given his likeable and charismatic persona. Combined with the sensibility and artistry of director Lasse Hallström, TOM’S DAD promises to be both entertaining and delightfully heartfelt,” said de Barros.