Sony Pictures International Productions has acquired remake rights for the Russian blockbuster comedy “Son of a Rich,” the country’s highest-grossing film of all time, Variety has learned.
The studio has secured the Mexican, Indian, South Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian adaptation rights. The French rights have also been acquired by SND Films, and the Polish rights by Monolith Films.
Directed by Klim Shipenko, and starring leading Serbian actor Milos Bikovich, “Son of a Rich” is the story of an oligarch’s spoiled, bratty son who’s tricked by his father into believing he’s been reincarnated as a serf in a 19th-century village. Released in 2019, the film has grossed nearly $42 million in Russian cinemas, and more than $1.8 million internationally from its releases in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Israel, and other territories.
Pic is produced by Russian indie studio Yellow, Black and White, MEM Cinema, and United Companies of GPM KIT, with the support of the Cinema Foundation of Russia.
“From the moment we watched ‘Son of a Rich,’ we knew it was special,” said Laine Kline, the head of Sony Pictures International Productions, the company’s local-language production arm. “We couldn’t be more excited to adapt this picture for new audiences who I’m sure will like it as much as Russian moviegoers did.”
Producer Eduard Iloyan, of Yellow, Black and White, said that the story of a 21st-century hero stripped of the conveniences of modern life is bound to resonate with international audiences as it has in Russia.
“We are very happy that foreign filmmakers also paid attention to this idea and decided to adapt it in their lands,” he said. “In the modern world of gadgets and social inequality, the lack of…connection is considered to be extreme, so this helps our hero, and along with him the viewer, to once again learn how to communicate with people, find a true friend, and find love.”
“We loved ‘Son of a Rich,’ which is a fun mix of ‘The Truman Show’ and the classic French comedy, ‘The Visitors,’” said Rami Jimenet, SND Films’ managing director of purchasing and production. “We can’t wait to bring ‘French flavor’ to this wonderful tale!”
Monolith Films will begin filming the Polish-language remake in August 2022. “We are delighted to be working with Central Partnership on the Polish remake of the ‘Son of a Rich’ comedy blockbuster,” said the company’s chairman, Mariusz Lukomski. “We all strongly believe in the great success of this project.”
International sales are being handled by production and distribution powerhouse Central Partnership. “The signed agreements come as a tremendous success and further proof that a cool, understandable story is what is most valuable in filmmaking,” said the company’s CEO, Vadim Vereshchagin. “I am sure that the remakes of ‘Son of a Rich’ will be in demand among foreign audiences, as well as bring box office success to the production studios.”
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