Feature is due to shoot for ten weeks from mid-June in Paris and Marrakech.

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp is joining forces with Mandarin Cinema to executive co-produce Bertrand Bonello’s [pictured] upcoming picture Saint Laurent capturing the life of legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent.

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“EuropaCorp will act as executive co-producer and also handle French distribution and international sales,” EuropaCorp said in a statement.

The deal was brokered by original sales company Films Distribution, which will remain on board the production as co-developers and packagers of the film.

The $20m (€15m) picture will focus on Saint Laurent’s career between 1965 to 1976, when the designer was deemed at the peak of his powers, culminating with the 1976 Russian Collection.

Director Bonello is writing the script with longtime Jacques Audiard collaborator Thomas Bidegain, who co-wrote Rust And Bone and A Prophet.

Quoted in the EuropaCorp statement, Bonello said the film would capture “ a unique romantic character, a flamboyant and visual universe and also revive a bygone era.”

Mandarin co-chiefs Eric and Nicolas Altmayer have been developing the project for more than a year. The picture, which is in pre-production, will shoot for 10 weeks in Paris and Marrakech from mid-June.

Near concurrently, compatriot director Jalil Lespert will start shooting Yves Saint Laurent, a rival picture being produced by Wassim Béji of WY Productions and sold by M6-owned SND.