2019 was a wonderful year for film, and The Farewell stood near the front of the pack. Written and directed by Lulu Wang, the film stars Awkwafina in a Golden Globe-winning performance as a Chinese-American woman who joins her family in planning one final party for their dying grandmother (Zhao Shu-zhen) — without, y’know, telling her that she’s dying. It’s a deft, remarkable, tone-blending feature that instantly had me excited for Wang’s filmic future — and now we know what that will be. Per Variety, Wang will be directing the family drama Like Father, Like Son.
If that title sounds in any way familiar, that makes sense. Like Father, Like Son is a Japanese 2013 film from Hirokazu Kore-eda which debuted at Cannes and won its Jury Prize. His film, which stars Fukuyama Masaharu, Ono Machiko, Maki Yoko and Lily Franky, is about two families who realize their six-year-old songs have been switched at birth, and the complications that ensue.
Wang’s Like Father, Like Son will be written by noted playwright Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)) and produced by both Wang and Josh McLaughlin (Parental Guidance) for Focus Features. It will tackle similar material, but don’t call it a “remake”. Wang took to Twitter to air her grievances with a lack of context with film publications leaking what she’s working on and using such disparaging terminology as “remake”:
Leaks on projects are really obnoxious because it lacks total context and all relevant perspective. If people wanted to know what a filmmaker is working on, perhaps they could actually ask the filmmakers involved? I’ve always been very transparent about my passions. P.S. I don’t believe in “remakes”. I’ll leave it at that for now.
I, for one, can’t wait to see the final product that Wang does believe in. Until then, here’s why a recent AMC deal might make discovering new voices like Wang even harder moving forward.