“Flag Day,” a new drama from Sean Penn, has sold North American rights to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer weeks before it is scheduled to have its global debut at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film was directed by Penn, with the Oscar-winner starring alongside his daughter, Dylan Penn. It’s an adaptation of Jennifer Vogel’s acclaimed memoir “Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father’s Counterfeit Life,” and recounts the author’s difficult relationship with her con-man father, John Vogel. Frequently operating on the wrong side of the law, John Vogel torched buildings, robbed banks, and counterfeited more than $20 million. But he could also be a charming and caring father, complicating his ties with his daughter.
Penn’s directorial debut, “The Indian Runner,” had its world premiere at Cannes in 1991. His acting credits include “Mystic River,” “Dead Man Walking,” and “Milk.” Penn also directed “The Crossing Guard” and “Into the Wild.” The deal for “Flag Day” comes in the wake of an $8.5 billion deal to sell MGM to Amazon.
“We were immediately captivated by Sean’s film – the outstanding performances from the entire cast lead of course by Dylan and Sean, Jennifer’s incredible life story, and the great care the entire filmmaking team took in bringing this true tale to the big screen after many years of willing it to be told,” said Michael De Luca, MGM’s Film Group Chairman and Pamela Abdy, MGM’s Film Group President. “ We are immensely proud to share this beautiful film with moviegoing audiences.”
“I’m particularly grateful that our film has been embraced by MGM. Mike DeLuca and his team are among the last true believers that, along with the advent of streaming, there remains a theatrical value to character driven films. I’ve known & admired Mike for many years, and there’s no one I’d rather throw the dice with,” said Sean Penn
The film was adapted for the screen by Jez Butterworth (“Edge of Tomorrow”) and John-Henry Butterworth (“Ford vs. Ferrari”). “Flag Day” also stars Josh Brolin, Norbert Leo Butz, Dale Dickey, Eddie Marsan, Bailey Noble, Katheryn Winnick, and Hopper Jack Penn, Sean Penn’s son. The film is produced by William Horberg, Jon Kilik, and Fernando Sulichin, and features original songs by Cat Power, Eddie Vedder, and Glen Hansard.
“Flag Day” will be released theatrically in the U.S. via MGM’s distribution and marketing joint venture United Artists Releasing in 2021. The deal was negotiated by CAA.