Demolition is a 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Bryan Sipe. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper, and Judah Lewis. The film opened the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and was theatrically released on April 8, 2016, by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal), a successful investment banker, struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law Phil (Chris Cooper) to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts) and, amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son Chris (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.
In May 2013, director Jean-Marc Vallée was set to direct Demolition, for a 2015 release date. On October 9, 2013, it was announced that Black Label Media would finance the film, and would co-produce along with Mr. Mudd. On June 6, 2014, Jake Gyllenhaal was in early talks to star in the film. On July 21, Naomi Watts was in talks to join the film. On September 4, Watts was confirmed cast in the film to play the female lead. On September 10, Chris Cooper was set to star in the film. On October 18, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Fox Searchlight Pictures had acquired the US rights to the film, and director Vallée said, “I’m thrilled and excited to be back in business with Fox Searchlight. They have been wonderful, creative partners on Wild. I look forward to collaborating again on Demolition.” Judah Lewis’ role as the son of Watts’ character Karen Moreno was confirmed on July 15, 2015.