La Petite Reine to produce

Christophe Gans’ next film will be an adaptation of Leo Perutz’s “The Swedish Cavalier” for La Petite Reine, the French company selling “Public Enemy Number One” in the Cannes market.

Gans, whose credits include “Silent Hill” and “Brotherhood of the Wolf,” will shoot “Cavalier” in 2009, La Petite Reine partner Thomas Langmann said Saturday in Cannes.

Langmann described “Cavalier” as Gans’ next project, which puts an even larger question mark on “Onimusha,” the big budget Chinese-themed fantasy set up at Samuel Hadida’s Davis Films, but which ran into logistical problems in March while in pre-production. Although “Onimusha” appeared on the sales slate advertised by Essential Entertainment, Essential topper Jere Hausfater said Saturday that company is not actively selling the film during Cannes.

La Petite Reine is considering shooting “Cavalier” along with two other high-end projects — the $95 million-plus live action animal/reptile gangster movie “Blacksad,” from Louis Leterrier and Xavier Gens’ 18th-century, Pacific-set thriller “Vanikoro” — in the same studio in either Australia or Canada.

La Petite Reine has hired “The Matrix Revolutions” exec producer Andrew Mason to evaluate shooting opportunities.

“We could bring three-to-four huge movies to shoot over 18 to 24 months at the same studio,” Langmann said.

“Cavalier,” Czech novelist Perutz’s identity drama, was published by in 1936. Set in 1701, it centers around a battlefield identity swap between a courageous low-born soldier and callous aristocrat.

La Petite Reine held a 17-minute promo screening of the two-part “Public Enemy Number One,” which generated positive word-of-mouth on the Croisette.

Directed by Jean-Francois Richet, “Public Enemy” stars Vincent Cassel as Jacques Mesrine, France’s legendary bank robber, penitentiary escapee and social rebel, gunned down in his car in 1979.

“Public Enemy” is budgeted at $72 million and is set in France, Canada, the U.S. Spain, the U.K. and Algeria.

“Public Enemy Number One Part 1: The Origins” will bow Oct. 22 in France, he said. The second will most probably follow closely.

Although “Public Enemy’s” sales campaign kicks off at Cannes, with Gregoire Melin’s Kinology handling international, “Public Enemy” has pre-sold to Russia (Top Film), Greece (Proptiko), Poland (Monolith), Turkey (TMC) and Romania (Mediapro).

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