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A Hero - What We Know So Far

Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi is taking his talents back to Amazon Prime Video, which will reportedly be the launching pad for his highly-anticipated new film, "A Hero."

According to Variety, the streaming giant recently acquired the U.S. movie rights for the Farsi-language flick. Insiders are expecting it to be a major hit among critics, with many believing the film could help Farhadi — a two-time Academy Award winner in the foreign-language category — nab another statue for Best Director or possibly even Best Picture. UTA Independent Film Group was said to have been behind the streaming deal for "A Hero," which was reportedly brokered by Memento Films International "on behalf" of Farhadi and his team. Amazon Studios was responsible for releasing one of the Iranian filmmaker's most critically successful hits, "The Salesman," which won a foreign-language Oscar in 2017. 

Farhadi's last directorial outing was 2018's "Everybody Knows," starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The movie won several awards, including Goyas, or Spanish Oscars, for best film, director, actor, actress and screenplay. So it's no surprise that Amazon has decided to join forces with Farhadi yet again. Here's everything we know so far about "A Hero."

What is the release date for A Hero?

Amazon is expected to start streaming "A Hero" sometime in late 2021 or early 2022, according to Indie Wire. Some insiders believe that it will hit theaters in January before landing on Prime a few weeks later. 

"A Hero" was first unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival on July 13, where it won the Grand Prix — the festival's second-most prestigious prize. The movie was filmed in Shiraz, Iran, and it is said to be in post-production. Farhadi teamed up with Alexandre Mallet-Guy, of Memento Films Production, to produce it. The pair worked together on Farhadi's last three movies. However, it's worth noting that they will certainly have some stiff competition at the Oscars next March, with big name filmmakers like Denis Villeneuve ("Dune"), Joel Coen ("The Tragedy of Macbeth") and Guillermo del Toro ("Nightmare Alley") all expected to also be in the running for the Best Director award.

Who is in the cast of A Hero?

Farhadi's cast includes several well-known Iranian actors, including Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy and Sarina Farhadi — that latter of whom is actually the director's daughter, and plays the daughter of Jadidi's character in the film.

Reviews of "A Hero" have described Jadidi's performance as Rahim as being "charming," with critics praising him and the plot surrounding his "pleasant but somewhat hapless" character. Owen Gleiberman of Variety, meanwhile, described Jadidi as being "handsome in a placid, at times nearly frozen way" that resembles "the young Armand Assante." Assante is best known for playing John Gotti in the hit 1996 HBO television film "Gotti," for which he was awarded an Emmy. "When [Jadidi] smiles it's with a warmth that beckons those around him," the outlet said of his "A Hero" performance. "Yet there's a passivity to Rahim that bespeaks his clenched inner fear. As we learn, he's a man who is quietly drowning."

What is the plot of A Hero?

Farhadi's Iranian tour-de-force centers around a man's attempt to right the wrongs in his life after being given a two-day leave from prison, according to reviews like Anna Smith's writeup on Deadline. Jadidi's character is behind bars for an unpaid debt and determined to find a way to give the money back that he owes. The man eventually meets up with his girlfriend, who has stumbled upon a bag of gold coins, and the two are faced with a decision: return the coins to their owner, or pay off Rahim's debt. They choose to return the coins, setting off a wild series of events that lead to Jadidi's character being dubbed the film's titular "hero." But things don't go as planned, as viewers will see.

The script for "A Hero" has been described by Memento Films International as one that "tackles many contemporary issues of our modern societies." In previous movies, Farhadi has used his characters to portray ordinary conflicts in unique and suspenseful ways. In Variety's Cannes review, "A Hero" was described as a story that "one could easily imagine being set within the bubbling maelstrom of our own frenetic image culture."