Crowded runway for Chanel films

Fontaine, Thompson, Friedkin prepping rival films

The French have gone cuckoo for Coco — Chanel, that is.

The legendary fashion designer is suddenly the subject of three biopic projects.

Audrey Tautou will play Coco in her early years in an as-yet-unnamed movie by Anne Fontaine. Pic, which is being touted in Cannes with Films Distribution handling international sales, is slated to shoot in January. It’ll explore Chanel’s beginnings and rise to design icon. Karl Lagerfeld is already shooting pictures of Tautou looking Coco-like in some of the designer’s signature rags.

Changing Chanels, director William Friedkin has Marine Hands, star of “Lady Chatterley,” onboard to play the fashion diva. Pic, centered around Chanel’s relationship with composer Igor Stravinsky, is produced by “Amelie” producer Claudie Ossard.

A third Coco project is being lined up by writer-director Danielle Thompson, whose “Avenue Montaigne” is in theaters.

All of which begs the question: Are there too many Cocos on the runway? Past biopic duels — on Alexander the Great, Che Guevara and Truman Capote, for example — wound up with one pic getting most of the spotlight while the other faded.

Caroline Benjo, producer of the Tautou pic via her shingle Haut et Court, hopes the competing Cocos won’t cancel each other out. “The projects are very different, and Danielle Thompson’s isn’t for another couple of years,” she says.

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