French sales, distribution and financehouse Wild Bunch has confirmed casting on Woody Allen's upcoming Summer 2006 Project. Colin Farrell and EwanMcGregor will co-star alongside Tom Wilkinson and an as-yet unannounced female.
The film, budgeted at $20.7m (Euros 16.2m),will begin shooting in London in June and should be ready in time for Cannes2007. The untitled work was originally scheduled to shoot in Paris but theproduction ultimately chose London - where Allen recently shot Match Pointand Scoop - becauseFrench social charges tacked onto salaries proved too costly.
The story has shifted from theoriginal Parisian motif to become the tale of two brothers with seriousfinancial woes. When a third party proposes they turn to crime, things go badand the two become enemies. Wild Bunch's Vincent Maraval says, "It's a romanticcomedy sort of like Match Point with some Hitchcock thrown in."
Re-teaming with Allen after their2004 collaboration on Melinda AndMelinda is cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond.
Wild Bunch will start sales duringCannes on the project which is produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum andGareth Wiley. Wild Bunch is also co-producing with its new acquisitionsarm Virtual Films. Executive producers are Maraval, Benjamin Waisbren andDaniel Wuhrmann. Spain's On Pictures and France's TFM have distribution rightsfor their respective territories.
Wild Bunch has several other newprojects which Maraval also spoke about to Screen.
Laurent Tirard has begun shooting Moliere,a $21.7m (Euros 17m) "Shakespeare InLove a la Francaise." Set during the three missing monthsof the legendary French playwright's life, the script fantasizes about what mayhave happened. A sort of bedroom farce with a hint of Cyrano, the film starsRomain Duris, Fabrice Lucchini, Laura Morante and Ludivine Sagnier.
Tirard's first film was hit comedy Mensonges Et Trahisons Et Plus Si Affinites produced by Fidelite which is also on board for Moliere.The film will be ready in early 2007 but a possible Cannes slot next yearshouldn't be ruled out.
Animated film Max & Cofrom directors Samuel and Frederic Guillaume is a claymation project budgetedat $17m. Producers include France's Cine Manufacture and the UK's Future Film.
A pedigree crew is behind the filmincluding Chicken Runanimator Guionne Leroy, Mackinnon & Saunders providing artistic support- the company has previously worked on Chicken Run and Corpse Bride - andLes Choristes composer Bruno Coulais. Film will be ready in late 2007 and tellsthe story of a man's search for his father set against a backdrop of thefly-swatter industry.
Pierre Salvadori's comedy Pricelesswill commence sales at Cannes as well. Starring Audrey Tautou and Gad Emaleh,the $18m (Euros 14m) production is a romantic comedy with a distinct nod to Breakfast At Tiffany's.
Produced by Les Films Pelleas, Pricelesswill be ready for the end of the year and is Tautou's first role after The Da Vinci Code.
President from director LionelDelplanque is a $10.2m (Euros 8m) thriller currently in post-production.Maraval says it resembles Day Of TheJackal and has a very Michael Mann feel.
Albert Dupontel, Jeremie Renier andMelanie Doutey star in the story of a French president and the young journalistwho investigates him. Corruption and scandal ensue. France's Cine Nomine, AlterFilms and Thelma Films are producing.
Finally, actress Valeria BruniTedeschi follows up her 2003 directing debut Il Est Plus Facile Pour Un Chameauwith Actricestarring Noemie Lvovsky and Valeria Golino. The comedy about being an actressis produced by Fidelite and will be ready for Berlin next year.