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A first trailer has been released for My Son, a forthcoming film in which James McAvoy fully improvises the lead role.
McAvoy was never given a script during filming, the clip, unveiled on Wednesday, explains. The goal was for the actor and the audience to both “uncover the mystery at the exact same time”.
My Son is a remake of the 2017 French thriller Mon Garçon. McAvoy stars as Edmond Murray, a father whose seven-year-old son goes missing from a campsite in an apparent kidnapping. Claire Foy stars as his character’s ex-wife.
“I’ve managed to have an experience that no actor gets to have,” McAvoy says at the beginning of the trailer. “I hope we’ll give the audience something really tangible that they can hang on as this thriller rattles along.”
Murray, McAvoy’s character, is seen in the trailer driving in the Highlands and finding out about his son’s disappearance.
“Mr Murray, I have to tell you that we are investigating every hypothesis – including kidnapping,” a police officer tells him. “Would you say your work was dangerous?”
A 2017 review by The Hollywood Reporter of Mon Garçon, starring French actor Guillaume Canet as the lead, praised the use of improvisation in a thriller, noting: “The actor [Canet] apparently improvised his scenes, which were shot in order without Canet knowing what was coming next, and as gimmicky as that sounds, the stress ultimately pays off.”
My Son will air on 15 September on Peacock in the US. A UK release date has yet to be confirmed.