Helmer to shoot on thriller in 2007

CANNES — After the WWI-set “Merry Christmas,” nominated for a foreign-language film Oscar, Gallic helmer Christian Carion will tackle more recent history in the Reagan-era spy tale “Bonjour Farewell.”

A geopolitical thriller based on true events, the English-language pic will be produced by Christophe Rossignon’s Nord Ouest Prods. and Bertrand Faivre’s Le Bureau, who developed the original script by frosh scribe Eric Raynaud.

Once financing is in place, with the pic slated to shoot in 2007.

Pic deals with the Farewell Dossier, a little-known affair in which French intelligence services tipped off the U.S. about a Soviet spy operation believed responsible for massive theft of military and industrial know-how during the Cold War.

Once the U.S. knew, they sabotaged the operation by feeding false information that brought Soviet advances to a halt. One of the alleged consequences was the 1982 explosion of the trans-Siberian pipeline, reportedly the largest non-nuclear explosion in global history. 

“It’s the main reason the Berlin Wall fell,” said Rossignon.

As with “Merry Christmas,” which focused on the actions of a few individuals who laid down their arms on the front lines of WWI on Christmas Eve 1914, Carion’s “Farewell” will also focus on an unsung hero, KGB spy Col. Vladimir Vetrov — codenamed “Farewell” — who blew the whistle on the spy operation and was executed in 1983.

“Christian is fascinated with the notion that one man’s actions can change the world,” said Rossignon, adding that the film would be “suspenseful and full of action.”

Nord Ouest has another Carion project in development for further down the line, “La Guerre de l’eau,” an “Erin Brockovich”-style vehicle Carion wrote specially for Gallic actress Mathilde Seigner (the star of his first film, “The Girl From Paris”).

Other pics on the company’s slate include Laetitia Colombani’s “My Stars and Me,” a comedy about actresses who take revenge on an over-attentive fan, expected to shoot next year;  Philippe Lioret’s “Roman,” set in a Southern French shoemaking town;  and “Gaybi Boom,”  about homosexual adoption.

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