Scribe had hopes of seeing a French-lingo 'Particles'
After Oskar Roehler’s Teuton adaptation of “Elementary Particles,” which he has yet to see, Gallic author Michel Houellebecq is determined to personally bring his latest tome to the bigscreen — and it will be in French.The book and film of “The Possibility of an Island” were the object of a e1 million twin deal between the author and French publisher Hachette, before Houellebecq had written a line of either novel or screenplay. But after the book came out last fall — the book went on to win France’s prestigious Interallie literary prize — Hachette put the film project into turnaround. Gallic shingle Mandarin has now optioned the rights, producer Eric Altmeyer said Tuesday. Houellebecq’s never said anything publicly for or against the German “Elementary Particles” but the pic is clearly something of a sore subject. The author had been hoping there would be French lingo adaptation by Philippe Harel, helmer of a bigscreen version of his “L’Extension du Domaine de la Lutte,” translated as “Whatever.” The project was in development at the same time as the Teuton one, and rights were carved out so that neither pic could be released in the other’s territory. But while Roehler’s was duly financed and put into production, the Harel script failed to raise the necessary coin. “It was a big disappointment to all of us, and not being able to get a German co-producer did not help things,” Altmeyer said Tuesday. “This time round the rights are being handled much more cautiously.”
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more