Sean Penn’s Daughter Dylan Makes Lead Debut in Flag Day Alongside Dad — See the Gripping Trailer

Dylan Penn is making her major lead debut in Flag Day.

PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the trailer for the father-daughter drama directed by Dylan’s real-life dad Sean Penn, who also stars in the movie. The film recently world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Dylan, 30, plays Jennifer Vogel, the daughter of Sean’s John Vogel — a man who raised her in a fantastical world but has a con-artist past that Jennifer is forced to come to grips with as an adult. 

The trailer opens with Jennifer watching a police chase on television that seemingly takes place around the present day, with law enforcement pursuing John, “the second-largest counterfeiter in U.S. history.”

Soon, Jennifer begins to tell the story of her childhood with her father. In a voiceover during a smattering of flashback scenes showing happier times, Jennifer says John “always made me feel like part of a bigger world.”

Flag Day

Flag Day

MGM Sean Penn (R) in Flag Day

Later, a grown-up Jennifer tells her teary-eyed father while visiting him in prison, “Tell me the truth!” — to which he responds, “You’re gonna get it when you walk a mile in my shoes. I’m guilty till proven innocent.”

“Dad, you’ll never change!” Jennifer screams.

The end of the trailer sees John and Jennifer, during her childhood, in a boat together, as Jennifer peers down at a drawing of herself.

“I think the greatest hope a man can have is leaving something beautiful behind. Someday he may,” says John.

Flag Day Poster

Flag Day Poster


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Based on a true story, Flag Day — which made its debut at Cannes this year — is adapted from the real-life Jennifer Vogel’s 2004 memoir Flim-Flam Man: A True Family History.

“When I dreamed from the beginning to make the movie with Sean Penn as John Vogel, to have a real father and daughter play a father and daughter, knowing Sean’s commitment to authenticity, this was a special way for this story to be told,” producer William Horberg said at a Cannes press conference, according to IndieWire. “We didn’t compromise. We had to fight hard to get the resources, to get Sean to do this.”

“In a film about deception, about the search for truthfulness, it goes back to Dylan’s face,” said Sean, 60. “I find her uncontrived. When you can put a camera on an actor listening, that tells the whole world of truth and deception. My cinematic focus was on Dylan’s face to tell the story.”

The film also stars Josh Brolin and Sean’s son Hopper Penn. (Sean shares Dylan and Hopper, 27, with ex-wife Robin Wright.)

Sean Penn stars as John Vogel and Dylan Penn as Jennifer Vogel in FLAG DAY

Sean Penn stars as John Vogel and Dylan Penn as Jennifer Vogel in FLAG DAY

Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc.

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Both Sean and Dylan attended Cannes earlier this month in honor of Flag Day. During the press conference, Sean revealed he was initially hesitant to star the movie, according to IndieWire.

The two-time Academy Award winner said he made an exception to his rule of not taking on two jobs on the same project after Matt Damon talked some sense into him, IndieWire reported.

“A month and half before shooting started, Matt Damon called me, not to say he could or couldn’t, but that I was a stupid schmuck not to take this opportunity to act with my daughter in this thing,” said Sean.

He added, “That was the last straw. Once I decided to do that, it was a big burden off me.”

Flag Day premieres in theaters Aug. 20.

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