John Krasinski & Natalie Portman To Star In Guy Ritchie’s ‘Fountain Of Youth’ For Apple And Skydance
Following the success of The Family Plan last month, Apple Original Films and Skydance are reteaming on another tentpole as Deadline is hearing John Krasinski and Natalie Portman are set to star in Fountain of Youth with Guy Ritchie directing. Skydance Media will serve as the studio, and the film will be produced for Apple by Skydance, Vinson Films and Project X Entertainment.
Written by James Vanderbilt, the pic follows two estranged siblings (Krasinski and Portman) who partner on a global heist to find the mythological Fountain of Youth. They must use their knowledge of history to follow clues on an epic adventure that will change their lives — and possibly lead to immortality.
Hailing from a first-look partnership between Apple and Skydance Media, Fountain of Youth will be produced by Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger. Tripp Vinson will produce through his Vinson Films as will Project X Entertainment, with Vanderbilt, William Sherak, Paul Neinstein producing for the company. Ritchie & Ivan Atkinson and Jake Myers also are producing with Radio Silence (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett and Chad Villella) serving as executive producers.
Fountain of Youth has been a high priority for Skydance after getting a script from Vanderbilt that sources said “blew execs away,” but the studio needed the right package of talent before it moved forward with the film. Ritchie, who has been as busy as any director in town, had been eyeing the project since the spring, with Krasinski also circling it around the same time, but the dual strikes forced things to be put on pause. Once the strikes were settled, both gave their commitments, and the delay also opened the door for Portman to land the other lead with her schedule opening up at the top of 2024. The plan is to shoot during first quarter this year.
The news comes a month after Apple and Skydance’s The Family Plan starring Mark Wahlberg became the biggest film to premiere on Apple TV+. The partnership has a strong slate ahead with some high-profile titles including the genre-bending action film The Gorge, starring Miles Teller and Anya Taylor-Joy, and the recently announced action-adventure film Mayday, with Ryan Reynolds and Kenneth Branagh set to star in the lead roles.
Krasinski is in post-production on IF for Paramount, which he wrote, directed, produced and stars in. The film will release theatrically in May and features a cast including Reynolds, Cailey Fleming, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fiona Shaw, Lou Gossett Jr and Steve Carell. Paramount is positioning IF as one of its big pics of 2024.
His directing career took off after helming, writing and starring in the Oscar-nominated 2019 thriller A Quiet Place, one of the surprise hits of the year, leading to its 2021 sequel A Quiet Place: Part II. On the acting side, he recently wrapped his hit series Jack Ryan, which aired its final season last summer on Prime Video.
For Portman, this marks a reunion for her and Apple as she and her producing partner Sophie Mas inked a first-look TV deal with Apple TV+ for their production company MountainA. Through this deal, they are producing the Apple Original limited series Lady in the Lake, which will be Portman’s TV acting debut. MountainA also produced the dark comedy May December from director Todd Haynes, in which Portman stars opposite Julianna Moore. She received Golden Globe and Spirit Award nominations for the role. MountainA produced the docuseries Angel City through Max last year.
Ritchie has been as busy as any director over the last year started with his critically acclaimed Afghan war thriller The Covenant, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which bowed in April. He also shot two films in 2023 — the World War II actioner The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, starring Henry Cavill and Eiza Gonzalez, and an untitled heist thriller reuniting him with Gyllenhaal, Gonzalez and Cavill, which they shot with a SAG AFTRA interim agreement in the fall.
Project X and Radio Silence had another big year on the Scream franchise front as Scream VI, which they produced, became the top-grossing film in the franchise’s history.
Portman is represented by CAA and Attorney George Sheanshang, Krasinski is represented by WME and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham, Ritchie is represented by WME and Vanderbilt is represented by WME. Radio Silence is repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.