Jake Gyllenhaal's HBO Show Hit With Huge Setback

HBO's adaptation of 'The Son' produced by Gyllenhaal has lost director Denis Villeneuve.

Jake Gyllenhaal's upcoming HBO series The Son just lost a major talent: director Denis Villeneuve. HBO ordered this adaptation of the Norwegian novel Sønnen by Jo Nesbø back in the fall of 2020 with Villeneuve directing, Gyllenhaal producing and Channing Tatum starring. Last week, Villeneuve told Norwegian news outlet VG that he is no longer working on the project.

Villeneuve is on a press tour promoting Dune: Part Two, which hits theaters everywhere on Friday, March 1, 2024. When asked if he is still attached to The Son, he said: "No. I love the project, and I love the book and the author. He [Nesbø] is very good. The script for the adaptation is excellent, but I feel it is a long way from my abilities." Still, Villeneuve is hoping that this series will still get made so that he can enjoy it as a fan.

"I hope the series sees the light of day, but directed by someone else," he said. Villeneuve's comments led fans online to speculate about how little progress has been made on this adaptation, and to worry that it may not get made at all. This is the first major update on the production since 2020, and fans noted that the talent associated with it have all been hard at work on other things.

Nesbø, 63, has had a unique career starting as a professional soccer player in Oslo. He is also the frontman of a rock band called Di Derre, and he has a degree in economics and business administration. He worked as a freelance journalist and stockbroker after college until his novels took off. As an author, he is best known for his crime series about detective Harry Hole, a hard-nosed investigator tracking serial killers, mobs and other criminals while contending with his own personal demons. One of these books, The Snowman, was adapted into a Hollywood film in 2017 starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

The Son is Nesbø's second crime novel outside of the Harry Hole series. It is about a man named Sonny Lofthus, who has agreed to serve prison time for a crime he did not commit. He does so in exchange for a steady supply of drugs so that he can indulge his addiction in peace, but his life changes all at once when he learns the truth about his father's death.

Aside from Villeneuve's commentary last week, there are no major updates on HBO's adaptation of The Son. Nesbø's novel is available now in print, digital and audiobook formats in English, among other languages. Dune: Part Two hits theaters on Friday, March 1.