Veteran French producer Raymond Danon has touched down in Cannes to finalise the finance on his long-gestated feature about the life of tragic actress Romy Schneider, Romy.

The picture, scheduled to start shooting in March 2013, will focus on Schneider’s struggle against the odds to make her last picture, the 1982 The Passerby (La passante du Sans-Souci).

Jean-Claude Carrière is writing the screenplay. Director and adventurer Géraldine Danon will direct. Casting agent Olivier Carbone is finalising the actress to play Schneider. Danon says the budget for the French-language project will be in the region of €8 million.

“I don’t want to make a classic bio-pic spanning her whole life but rather capture her through the story behind the making of The Passerby,” explains prolific producer Danon, who has taken a banner ad across the front of the Majestic to promote the project.

“She was absolutely determined to make it, even though in the backdrop, she was dealing with health problems and the death of her son… through this story her spirit and charisma shines through,” continues Danon. Schneider died of a heart attack shortly after completing the film at the age of 43.

Directed by Jacques Rouffio, The Passerby starred Schneider as the wife of a respected humanitarian, played by Michel Piccoli, who gets his revenge on a former Nazi official responsible for the death of his family.

The film had a special resonance for Schneider, says Danon. The parents of the Austria-born German actress, who also took on French nationality in the 1970s, were acquaintances of Adolph Hitler, a fact from which haunted Schneider throughout her life.

Danon has produced more than 100 films in his 50-year career, ranging from Bertrand Tavernier’s first feature The Clockmaker of St. Paul, Alain Delon vehicles such as The Gipsy and L’homme pressé.