Kristen Stewart, Josh O’Connor, Elle Fanning to Lead ‘Rosebushpruning’  

The 2023 Cannes Film Festival may be slowly winding down, but a red hot new project has just landed in the market to spice things up.

Kristen Stewart (Spencer), Josh O’Connor (The Crown, God’s Own Country) and Elle Fanning (Teen Spirit, The Great) are set to lead the cast of Rosebushpruning, the next feature from Karim Aïnouz, whose Jude Law- and Alicia Vikander-starring period drama Firebrand last week had its world premiere in Cannes’ main competition to hugely positive reviews. The Match Factory and MUBI are backing the film.

  understands that Aïnouz will direct from a script written by Efthimis Filippou (Dogtooth, Killing of Sacred Deer, The Lobster) and adapted from Marco Bellocchio’s 1965 debut feature Fists in the Pocket, a dark satire of family and social values now considered a landmark piece of Italian cinema. The adaptation rights were acquired from Kavac Film. 

The Match Factory previously worked with Aïnouz on his 2019 Un Certain Regard-winning film The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão. Viola Fügen and Michael Weber are producing Rosebushpruning for The Match Factory, which is also handling sales for the film. CAA Media Finance represents North American distribution rights. MUBI is financing production. 

“Marco Bellocchio’s astonishing debut, Fists in the Pocket, was released over 50 years ago and had a huge impact on Italian cinema and storytelling at the time,” said Aïnouz. “I’m excited to be collaborating with Efthimis Filippou to revisit this iconic work to create a contemporary parable about the death of the traditional patriarchal family — which I hope will be touching and provocative in equal measure. It’s a dream come true to be working with such a dynamic ensemble of actors that I have long admired to bring this explosive adaptation to audiences today.”

Rosebushpruning is set to start production in spring 2024.

Kristen Stewart is represented by WME and McKuin/Frankel/Whitehead. Josh O’Connor is represented by CAA, Independent Talent Group, and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole. Elle Fanning is repped by UTA, Echo Lake Entertainment, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox. 

In the original Fist in the Pocket, a young man suffering from epilepsy (Lou Castel in his debut film role) plots the murders of his dysfunctional family. It proved controversial at the Locarno Festival, where it had its premiere and was condemned by several major cinema figures, but was warmly received by younger critics and audiences, becoming a sleeper hit. In 2008, Italy’s Ministry of Culture placed it on its list of 100 films to be saved, a collection of films that had “changed the collective memory of the country between 1942 and 1978.”

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