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Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal to reteam for HBO limited series

Jake Gyllenhaal in Prisoners
(Image credit: IMDb)

Denis Villeneuve is set to direct an adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s novel The Son for HBO, with Jake Gyllenhaal on board to star. 

Co-creators of Westworld, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, will act as showrunners alongside Lenore Zion, who was a writer and producer on Showtime’s Billions. Zion will also write the series. Meanwhile, the Dune director and Gyllenhaal will also be executive producers for the limited series, so there’s no shortage of big names behind the scenes.

Villeneuve and Gyllenhaal have worked together before, on 2013’s crime thriller Prisoners and 2014’s surreal Enemy. According to Deadline (opens in new tab), the pair saw this adaptation as the perfect opportunity to team up again. 

Gyllenhaal’s production company Nine Stories optioned the book in 2016 and the actor gave the novel to Villeneuve, who reportedly read it overnight. After attempting to adapt it as a feature film, the pair opted for a limited series format instead, as the book has so much story to cover. 

Novel-to-limited-series adaptations are becoming increasingly popular, especially on HBO – their recent output has included Sharp Objects, starring Amy Adams and based on the book by Gillian Flynn and Todd Haynes’ adaptation of James M. Cain’s Mildred Pierce.

Nesbø’s number-one New York Times bestselling novel is described as a tale of vengeance set amid Oslo’s brutal hierarchy of corruption – some classic Scandi grit. The story follows Sonny Lofthus, an escaped convict with an opioid addiction who’s on the run and can’t remember his past. We’re guessing that’s who Gyllenhaal will play, but nothing’s been confirmed yet. As we wait, make sure to check out the best Netflix shows available right now.

Emily Garbutt

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.