Steven Spielberg Snags Remake Rights To Cannes Jury Prize Winner Like Father Like Son

Last May, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Like Father Like Son made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it played before an illustrious jury headed by Steven Spielberg. The Japanese drama nominated for the Palme d’Or ended up taking home the Jury Prize from the fest, and now it’s headed for an American remake courtesy of Spielberg, as THR reports that DreamWorks has officially acquired Like Father Like Son.

Here's the film's festival synopsis:

The "switched at birth" urban legend and the Nature-vs.-Nurture debate provide Hirokazu Kore-eda with a fresh opportunity to revisit his ongoing preoccupation with family dynamics and parent-child relationships in contemporary Japan. The life of go-getting workaholic architect Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama)—one of comfort and quietly ordered affluence with his wife Midori (Ono Machiko) and son Keita (Keita Ninomiya)—is violently overturned when hospital administrators reveal the unthinkable: Keita is not his biological son. Due to a mistake made by a negligent nurse, his "true" son has been raised in the dishevelled but warm-hearted home of working-class shopkeeper Yudai (Lily Franky) and his wife (Yôko Maki). The different approaches of both couples to their excruciating dilemma and the gradual emotional awakening of the all-too-rational Ryota are at the core of this sensitive drama of family feeling, which showcases Kore-eda’s rich sense of humanity.

Word of this potential deal first surfaced at the end of August, when Deadline revealed DreamWorks had entered into negotiations with Like Father Like Son’s production company Fuji TV. At the time, it appeared Spielberg would be producing but not directing the English-language remake. No further update has been offered on that front; however, the three-time Academy Award winner has said:

"When I saw the film at Cannes, I was so impressed by its power to bring such a human story to the screen. Here at DreamWorks Studios, Stacey (Snider) and our team recognized that it was a story we wanted to remake to bring to our audiences throughout the world. I thank Hirokazu Kore-eda and Fuji TV for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity."

For his part, Kore-eda has said, “I am honored that a company such as DreamWorks will be developing my film for American audiences. I’m looking forward to working with Steven Spielberg, for whom I have great admiration.”

Like Father Like Son hasn’t yet nailed down a US release date, but it opens today at the New York Film Festival. Check out a clip from the film below, and read our review here.

For our complete New York Film Festival coverage, click here.

Kristy Puchko

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.