In his most ambitious project to date, international producer Paolo Branco is plotting a $10m-12m film based on the novel Cosmopolis by legendary US writer Don DeLillo.
Branco's Alfama Films is producing the film about a day in the life of a young billionaire financier who, over the course of a traumatic day, loses all his wealth. A director will be named shortly and DeLillo is on board to collaborate.
Showing his appetite for ambitious, upscale projects with a literary flavour, Branco is also collaborating with director Chantal Ackerman on a new, updated French-language version of Joseph Conrad's novel Almayer's Folly to star Stanislas Merhar.
The Eu4m project is being lined up to shoot in Malaysia as a French-Belgian-Portuguese co-production. Alfama will again produce with Paradis in Belgium.
Meanwhile, Branco is teaming up with Chilean master Raul Ruiz on The Mystery Of Lisbon, a soap opera-style Nineteenth Century-set drama based on a hugely popular Portuguese feuilleton novel. Shooting will begin in October on the Eu6m project which will be a TV series as well as a feature film and is being assembled as a French Portuguese-Brazilian coproduction.
Branco revealed he is also pushing ahead with a new, as-yet-untitled Jacques Doillon film to star Pascale Gregory, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Louis Garrel. Shooting is due to begin in the summer. The film tells the story of a playwright and his vexed relationship with his ex-wife. 'It's what you can call a Chekovian plot,' Branco said of the film, that is budgeted at Eu2.5m.
Here at the market, Branco and his team also been wrapping up some sales deals on other titles on the Alfama slate, among them Ashes and Blood, starring Fanny Ardant, which will be ready for Cannes.