The French film director and playwright Florian Zeller wrote his debut film ‘The Father’, winner of two Oscars for best adapted screenplay and best actor, thinking of Anthony Hopkins to play Anthony, the protagonist of this film that suffers from Alzheimer’s.
«I have thought about, written and dreamed this film for Anthony Hopkins. “I don’t distinguish the desire to make this film from the desire to make it with him,” Zeller said in statements to France Info. The French director expressed his “immense joy” after his film won two of the six statuettes for which it was nominated. . And he considered that sharing “this joy” with Anthony Hopkins is “an immense gift.”
Zeller, 41, has managed to conquer Hollywood with his first film, after having triumphed on stages around the world with his plays. He shares the award for best adapted screenplay with Christopher Hampton, the screenwriter who has translated his plays into English.
The film is based on his play ‘The Father’, which, along with ‘The Mother’ and ‘The Son’, is part of a trilogy about family relationships. When Zeller wrote “The Father” he was inspired by his own mother, who began suffering from dementia when he was 15 years old.
The film has not yet been released in France, as cinemas have been closed since the end of October due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Zeller is confident that if the theaters open their doors in mid-May, as expected, his film could be in French theaters in early or mid-June.
After having starred with Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman in ‘The Father’, Zeller will direct Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern in ‘The Son’, which will be his second film based on his play of the same title.
Zeller, married to the French actress Marine Delterme for 15 years, began writing novels, later moving to the theater. He is the author of a dozen plays, which have been performed in 45 countries. The British press considers him a successor to the English playwright Harold Pinter (1930-2008), winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature. With his victory at the Oscars, his name is already among the greats of Hollywood, the mecca of cinema.