EXCLUSIVE: Slate includes films starring Louis Garrel, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stacy Martin.
Wild Bunch will kick-off pre-sales at Cannes on Oscar-winner Michel Hazanavicius’s [pictured] new project Redoubtable revolving around the relationship between Jean-Luc Godard and actress Anne Wiazemsky in the late 1960s.
Based on Wiazemsky’s autobiographical account Un An Après, the production will star Louis Garrel as Jean-Luc Godard and Stacy Martin, last seen in High-Rise, as the director’s young muse.
The script kicks off with the 1967 shoot of La Chinoise – about a group of students who try to live by Maoists principles - and follows the couple through the late 1960s when Godard went through his so-called “revolutionary period”.
Wiazemsky – who met Godard when she was just 17-years-old and he was on the rebound from Anna Karina – was married to the filmmaker for more than a decade.
Like Hazanavicius’s Oscar-winning The Artist, the aesthetics and style of Redoubtable will take inspiration from the films around which the story is set.
“It’s an homage to Godard and the films he was making in 1968 at the same time as gently poking fun at some of their characteristics, such as the slogans etc,” said Wild Bunch sales chief Vincent Maraval.
“It’s not exactly a comedy but it will be lighted-hearted and affectionate in style.”
Hazanavicius is producing the film alongside Florence Gastaud, best known in the French film industry as managing director of the influential directors guild ARP, and actor and director Riad Sattouf.
Studiocanal has snapped up French rights on the project which is currently in pre-production.
Wild Bunch has also taken on sales of Arnaud Desplechin’s new project Les Fantomes d’Ismaël - also in pre-production - about a filmmaker whose life is sent into a tailspin by the return of a former lover just as he is about to embark on the shoot of a new film.
“Arnaud is on the jury so he will be in Cannes and will able to meet buyers to present the project,” said Maraval.
The director has gathered together an ensemble cast, including Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marion Cotillard and Louis Garrel. It is produced by Why Not Productions.
Other new French productions on the slate include Gilles Bourdos’s inter-generational drama Endangered Species, revolving around three interconnected families and the lengths people will go to protect their nearest and dearest, at the same time unwittingly doing them harm. The film is currently is in post-production.
Upcoming films on the Wild Bunch slate include Michaël R. Roskam’s The Racer And The Jailbird - currently shooting - about a dangerous love affair between gangster Gino and wealthy young racing driver Benedicte, who meet against the backdrop of the racing circuit.
Long-time Roskam collaborator Matthias Schoenaerts is set to play Gino opposite Adele Exarchopoulos as Benedicte. The actress, who won the Palme d’Or for her performance in Blue Is The Warmest Colour in 2014, will be in Cannes this year in Sean Penn’s The Last Face.
Roskam co-wrote the script with respected French screenwriters Thomas Bidegain and Noe Debre. Brussels-based Savage Film is co-producing with Pierre-Ange Le Pogam’s Paris-based Stone Angels. Pathé has already taken French rights.
Wild Bunch will also launch sales on Ukrainian filmmaker and Cannes regular Sergei Loznitsa’s upcoming film A Gentle Creature.
Inspired by a Dostoyevsky short story, the film follows a woman who sets off for a remote, lawless part of Russia in search of the truth regarding her prisoner-husband’s fate after a parcel she sends him is returned, marked “return to sender”.
The company is also handling sales on director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless revolving around a couple going through a bitter divorce.
Russian producers Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergey Melkumov – who produced Zvyagintsev’s Oscar-nominated Leviathan – are teaming up with Paris-based Why Not Productions on the film.
Previously announced titles
The company will continue sales on Jacques Doillon’s Rodin, starring Vincent Lindon as the legendary sculptor, which is due to shoot just after Cannes.
Izia Higelin has recently boarded the project for the role of Rodin’s lover Camille Claudel. Séverine Caneele, who has rarely been seen on the big screen since her Palme d’Or-winning performance in Bruno Dumont’s 1999 L’Humanité, will play Rodin’s long-suffering wife Rose Beuret.
“We’ll have the script for the first time,” said Maraval.
Other previously announced projects include Claire Denis’s space fantasy High Life, starring Robert Pattinson, Patricia Arquette and Mia Goth; Lino Disalvio’s Playmobil, which the company is co-selling with Lionsgate, and the Nicolas Winding Refn-produced Maniac Cop.
“We’ll have a new script co-written by Ed Brubaker and John Hyams at Cannes. It’s due to shoot in August,” said Maraval on Maniac Cop.
There will also be new promos for Jerome Salle’s Jacques Cousteau epic The Odyssey, which Wild Bunch Distribution will release on October 12 in France, and Emir Kusturica’s long-awaited On The Milky Road.
“The shoot spread over three years only ended in March. Emir loves to go to Cannes so he sent us a rough cut running two hours and forty minutes after the press conference but it just wasn’t ready. There’s at least two months of post-production left,” said Maraval. “The editing is not difficult but there are a lot of special effects.”
The company is handling ten titles that are due to premiere in Cannes Official Selection or in one of the parallel sections.
Its line-up includes Palme d’Or contenders I, Daniel Blake, Staying Vertical, Graduation, The Neon Demon and The Unknown Girl; Un Certain Regard titles After The Storm, The Dancer, The Red Turtle and Jean-Francois Richet’s Mel Gibson-starrer Blood Father, which will premiere in a Midnight Screening.
Outside Official Selection, the company is also selling Julia Ducournau’s Raw — about a young women brought up as a vegetarian who tastes meat for the first time with unexpected consequences — which will premiere in Critics’ Week.