Josh Charles (We Own This City, The Good Wife) and Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie, who plays Renate Reinsve’s love interest Aksel in Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World, have signed on to co-star alongside Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway in the upcoming psycho-thriller Mothers’ Instinct.

Chastain and Hathaway play Alice and Celine, best friends and neighbors who live superficially perfect lives as suburban housewives in 1960s America. But a tragic accident shatters that facade and guilt, suspicion and paranoia combine to disolve their sisterly bond, turning the two mothers against one another in a psychological battle of wills.

Mothers’ Instinct is based on the Barbara Abel’s novel Derrière la Haine, which was adapted by Olivier Masset-Depasse as the 2018 Belgian thriller Duelles. Sarah Conradt (50 States of Fright) adapted the English-language script.

Cinematographer Benoit Delhomme (The Theory of Everything, Lawless) will direct, taking over from Masset-Depasse, who was originally set to adapt his own feature into English.

Neon picked up U.S. rights for Mothers’ Instinct at the Cannes Film Market last month. European producer/financer/sales group Anton, who financed development of the project together with CAA Media Finance, also closed deals worldwide for the film, including with Studiocanal for the U.K,  Vertice for Spain and Italy, and with Amazon for Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Chastain and Kelly Carmichael of Chastain’s Freckle Films will produce Mothers’ Instinct together with Paul Nelson at Mosaic (Under My Skin) and Jacques-Henri Bronckart of Belgium’s Versus shingle, producer of Duelles. Anton’s Founder and CEO Sébastien Raybaud and Anton production head John Zois are overseeing the project.

Charles recently wrapped production on Memory from Mexican director Michel Franco, which also stars Chastain. The Good Wife alum most recently appeared in the HBO limited series We Own This City. Josh Charles is repped by UTA.

Lie, whose credits include roles in Paul Greengrass’ 22 July (2018), Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper (2016) and in Mia Hansen Løve’s Bergman Island (2021), has received critical acclaim for her performance in The Worst Person in the World, winning the best-supporting actor honor from the National Society of Film Critics for the role. Anders Danielsen Lie is repped by CAA.

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