Beautiful Boy and The Broken Circle Breakdown director Felix van Groeningen is to co-write and co-direct a feature based on Paolo Cognetti’s Italian bestseller The Eight Mountains with Charlotte Vandermeersch for Rome-based production outfit Wildside.
It will be the first move into directing for Belgian actress Vandermeersch who has had roles in Groeningen’s Belgica, The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Misfortunates and With Friends Like These.
The Eight Mountains aims to shoot in the Italian Alps, Turin and Nepal this summer. No cast is attached yet.
The project is being set up as a Italy-Belgium-France-UK co-production with Belgium’s Menuetto and Rufus, France’s Pyramide Productions and the UK’s Elastic Film. The latter is run by Louis Tisné, who co-produced Ali Abbasi’s Border.
The story spans decades of friendship between a young city boy who visits a summer house in the mountains with his parents, and a young cowherd. After initial carefree days roaming the mountains together, the two reconnect over the years as their lives take different directions.
It will mark the first feature from Belgian filmmaker Groeningen since 2018 awards contender Beautiful Boy, which starred Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet.
Groeningen is also known for sibling drama Belgica, for which he won the directing award at Sundance in 2016, and The Broken Circle Breakdown, which won prizes at the Berlinale, Tribeca, Cesars and European Film Awards in 2013 before securing an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film.
Fremantle-owned Wildside works across film and TV and is now co-producing crime drama series The Good Mothers for Disney + and produced Luca Guadagnino’s drama series We Are Who We Are.