EXCLUSIVE: Wild Bunch also boosts slate with Leconte’s feature animation The Suicide Shop, Tony Krawitz’s Dead Europe, and more.
Wild Bunch is reteaming with Chinese director Lou Ye on his latest film Mystery, a murder mystery set against the backdrop of contemporary China.
“It’s Ye’s first film officially shot in China since a five-year ban,” comments Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval. Ye received the ban after making Summer Palace, set against the backdrop of the Tiananmen Square massacre and its aftermath.
Mystery revolves around an investigation into the mysterious death of a young woman involved with a married businessman.
Currently shooting in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the film reunites Ye with actress Hao Lei, star of Summer Palace, and Qin Hao, the lead in the 2009 Spring Fever.
Wild Bunch has also taken on sales of Patrice Leconte’s first feature-length animation The Suicide Shop, the latest production from The Artist producer Thomas Langmann’s La Petite Reine alongside Diabolo Films, ARP, Caramel Films and Entre Chien et Loup.
An adaptation of a novel by Jean Teule, the film revolves around the gloomy Tuvache family, whose suicide business is put in jeopardy by the arrival of a cheerful youngest son with a love for life.
“It’s an intriguing concept,” comments Maraval, adding: “You might not think so given the subject-matter but it’s film that could work for children as well as adults.”
Other new additions include an adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’ brooding novel Dead Europe about an Australian photographer whose discovery of a dark secret in his Greek-born father’s past sets him off on a chaotic odyssey across Europe. Tsiolkas also wrote international bestseller The Slap.
“It’s a very contemporary, topical film about how European civilisation as we know it is at the end of its days,” says Maraval.
Australian director Tony Krawitz, whose previous works include short Jewboy and feature-length documentary The Tall Man, about the death of an aborigine man in police custody, is directing.
London and Sydney-based See-Saw Films, makers of Shame and The King’s Speech, are producing in association with Porchlight Films.
Other recent titles on the Wild Bunch include Rufus Norris’ Broken, based on the novel by Daniel Clay about a young girl whose innocent view of life is shattered after she witnesses a violent altercation in her street.
The company has also recently picked up sales on Argentine director Pablo Trapero’s provisionally entitled White Elephant, capturing the harsh reality of life in the slums of Buenos Aires. The film just finished shooting.
WB will also unveil Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu’s as-yet-untitled film about an investigation into the death of a mentally unstable, young novice in an Orthodox convent in Romania following an exorcism.
Other upcoming titles include Chinese Lu Chuan’s costume war epic The Last Supper capturing the violent power struggles at the end of the Qin Dynasty (206 BC); Lebanese Ziad Doueiri’s The Attack, about a Palestinian doctor forced to reappraise his life after his wife commits a suicide attack; and Japanese Koji Wakamatsuís Mishima — about novelist Yukio Mishima, who hit the headlines in 1970 for his ritual suicide.
Wild Bunch will also continue sales on James Gray’s untitled film starring Marion Cotillard as an impoverished Polish immigrant in 1920s New York opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner. The film started shooting at the beginning of February.
The company also hopes to close the remaining territories available on Francois Ozon’s In the House, featuring Fabrice Luchini, Kristen Scott Thomas and Denis Menochet in the cast.
Details of the storyline, which was previously under wraps, have emerged. The film revolves around an adolescent who inveigles himself into the home of a fellow student in his literature class. He weaves what he sees there into his essays — with unforeseen results.