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Helmer tunes up Marley

Bouchareb writing English-language script

CANNES — Rachid Bouchareb, who has two pix in competition at Cannes, is prepping his next pic, a $20 million bio of late reggae star Bob Marley.

The Gallic helmer-producer of North African descent is writing the English-language script, looking at the legendary Jamaican singer’s life before he became world famous. Marley died of cancer in 1981 at age 36.

“I’ve always liked the story of what made Marley the man. I want to look at him as a child through to a young man, and how he became interested in Africa,” he said.

Bouchareb expects to finish the script by the end of the year and begin lensing in 2007.

His two Cannes competition pics are “Days of Glory” (Indigenes), which he helmed, and director Bruno Dumont’s “Flandres,” which he produced.

Bouchareb admits his Cannes good fortune “is like winning the lottery.”

Both pics deal with politically sensitive issues. “Flandres” is bound to ruffle feathers with its Iraq war-inspired love story, while “Days of Glory” looks at the use of soldiers from French colonies to fight against the Nazis in WWII.

“It was important for me to make this film now, and for the French people to see that these immigrants from Africa and North Africa fought and died for France,” said Bouchareb.

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