Friday, May 24, 2024

Sean Penn to Direct Daughter Dylan Penn in “Flag Day,” Written by New Tony Award Winner Jez Butterworth, With Son Hopper, Too


Sean Penn should be directing a movie called “All in the Family,” from the looks of this story.

But his movie is “Flag Day,” written by new Tony Award winner Jez Butterworth, and starring Penn’s two kids, daughter Dylan and son Hopper, with actress Robin Wright. Dylan plays the lead. Butterworth won the Tony for “The Ferryman.”

This is a lot of pressure to put on a young actress who’s never carried a movie or had a large part in one other than an indie four years ago that escaped everyone’s attention (“Condemned”). Also, in this case, the actress’s father is the director. (See “Prizzi’s Honor.”) But Dylan certainly has the genes for it, and Sean wouldn’t put this together unless he trusted his gut. But it can be tricky (see “Godfather III”). The good news is that Jon Kilik is the producer, and we trust him, don’t we? (We do!)

There’s an all star cast including Penn himself, along with Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men, Milk,  The Avengers franchise), two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz (“Fosse/Verdon”, Fair Game), Dale Dickey (Hell or High Water, The Pledge), Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky, 21 Grams), Bailey Noble (“True Blood”), Hopper Penn (War Machine), Miles  Teller  (Whiplash, Too Old To Die Young), and Katheryn Winnick (“Vikings”, The Dark Tower).

I’m actually surprised David Morse isn’t in the movie.

Flag Day is based on Jennifer Vogel’s 2005 memoir “Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father’s Counterfeit Life.” The story centers around a daughter dealing with con man father. It sounds a little like “The Duke of Deception,” which should have been a major motion picture.

Funding is coming from Fernando Sulichin’s New Element Media, and from Ingenious Media. Sulichin has worked producing Oliver Stone movies and more recently Julian Schnabel’s “At Eternity’s Gate.” He was also executive producer of the ill-fated “London Fields,” one of the great disasters of all time.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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