Charades and UTA Independent Film Group have boarded “Mother, Couch,” the high-profile feature debut of Niclas Larsson, which has just dropped its first-look image, shared in exclusivity with Variety.
An all-star cast is led by Taylor Russell, Ewan McGregor, Ellen Burstyn, Rhys Ifans, Lara Flynn Boyle and F. Murray Abraham and now Lake Bell.
Charades will handle international sales, with UTA selling the film for the U.S. “Mother, Couch” is set to world premiere at September’s Toronto Intl. Film Festival, bowing in its Special Presentations section. It then segues for its European premiere at the San Sebastian’s New Directors competition.
Produced by Lyrical Media (“How to Blow Up a Pipeline”), Fat City, launched last year by Sara Murphy and Ryan Zacarias, and Suris/Bishop Films, New York-based and specializing in development. It is co-produced with Sweden’s high-flying regional production fund Film I Vast and Denmark’s Snowglobe, an energetic co-producer backing Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person In The World” and Maryam Touzani’s “The Blue Caftan.”
“Mother, Couch” is based on the novel “Mamma I Soffa” from Sweden’s Jerker Virdborg, billed by its Swedish publisher AB as “comical and existentially challenging.”
The film unspools in a remote furniture store, where Mother (Ellen Burstyn) stations herself on a green couch, refusing to get up, leaving her three estranged children – David (Ewan McGregor), Gruffudd (Rhys Ifans), and Linda (Lara Flynn Boyle) to figure out why.
With the help of the store managers, Bella (Taylor Russell) and Marco & Marcus (F. Murray Abraham), David and his siblings embark on what is described as a mind-bending journey to reveal life-altering family truths.
Producers are Murphy, Lyrical Media founder Alex Black, Ella Bishop and Pau Suris.
Jon Rosenberg, Natalie Sellers, Ryan Zacarias, David Harari and McGregor serve as executive producers.
Lake Bell directed two episodes of Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy” and voices the lead, Poison Ivy, in HBO Max series “Harley Quinn.”
“Mother, Couch” joins a Charades sales slate which is building a strong line in resonant English-language auteurs, the Paris-based co-production and sales company handling for example, international sales rights on Charlotte Wells’ Oscar-nominated “Aftersun” and Charlotte Regan’s 2023 Sundance winner “Scrapper.”
Though “Mother, Couch” has largely flown under the radar, Sweden’s Larsson has not. A child actor who went on to study at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, his first short, “Vatten,” (2013) earned him the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sweden’s Göteborg Festival, the biggest film event on Scandinavia.
A famed, go-to commercials director, he has worked for such brands as Volvo (“The Parents”), VW (“See the Unseen”), and Mercedes-Benz (“In The Long Run”). Nominated in 2021 for the Directors Guild of America Award for outstanding directorial achievement in commercials, Larsson also shot for Vogue
2015’s “The Magic Dinner,” starring Alicia Vikander and Anna Wintour.