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Last Days on Mars team open to sequel

EXCLUSIVE: Andrea Cornwell, one of the producers of Directors’ Fortnight title The Last Days on Mars, says that a sequel could be on the cards.

“The ending is deliberately quite ambiguous,” Cornwell said. “It’s certainly something the team had conversations about, but we won’t do anything until we see the reaction to this film. It people were up for it, we could absolutely explore it.”

Mars’ backers include the BFI Film Fund, Prescience Film Fund, the Irish Film Board. Focus Features handles international sales and Universal came on board early for the UK, Australia and Russia. The film will see its theatrical launch in the fourth quarter of the year.

A sci-fi film might be a surprise inclusion in Directors’ Fortnight, but Cornwall said: “It’s got a real character and personality to it, and the sense of a voice.”

Cornwell is again working with QWERTY’s Michael Kuhn to produce Saul Dibb’s adaptation of Suite Francaise, which counts partners including eOne, TF1, BBC Films and now The Weinstein Company.

That film will start shooting in five weeks in Belgium, partly on location in Marville. A “tiny bit” will shoot in France. TF1 is handling international sales.

As previously reported, Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts will star, alongside Kristin Sccott Thomas. The project will shoot for just over nine weeks.

Belgium’s Scope Invest is putting in about $3m of the film’s $14m budget.

Independent producer Cornwell is also working with BBC Films on Eden, based on a script by Guy Hibbert. That project, a 1970s and 1980s set thriller set against political turmoil in the Philippines, is out to directors now.

Cornwell, whose credits also include The Scouting Book For Boys, is one of the EFP Producers on the Move this year.

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