Major French outfit Pathe is backing Quebecan film-maker Christian Duguay’s new drama, Jappeloup, about the small black horse that won gold at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, set to star Daniel Auteuil and Guillaume Canet.

Canet is writing the script and will play the lead role of Pierre Durand, the jockey who nursed the small horse named Jappeloup back from a serious injury to victory in the show jumping at the Seoul Games, having failed four years earlier at the Los Angeles Olympics. Veteran actor Auteuil will play the role of his father.

Production duties are being split between Spanish outfit Meñakoz Films and France’s Acajou Films and Pathe, who will distribute the film in France. 

Shooting is taking place in France and in Mallorca for three weeks this November with technical pre-production currently underway on the Spanish island. The key focus of the filming will be at the Son Pardo race track in Palma, the largest city in Mallorca.

This project is particularly close to the heart of the award-winning French actor and director Canet who earlier in life rode for the junior French National Equestrian team, but had a bad fall which changed his future outlook.

Duguay is known for his action films, which include The Art of War, starring Wesley Snipes, and Live Wire, starring Pierce Brosnan.