Actress to begin filming in January

French actress Marion Cotillard will return to Gallic film-making starring in the E15 million ($24.0 million) Sahara-set adventure-romantic drama, “Le Dernier vol de Lancaster” (The Last Flight).

Cotillard will shoot “Flight” in Morocco from January after coming off Rob Marshall’s musical “Nine” for the Weinstein Co.

Cotillard’s last French film, “La Vie en rose,” won her the actress Academy Award this year.

“Flight” will be 100%-produced by Gallic mini-major Gaumont, with Franck Chorot taking a producer credit.

According to Loic Trocme, Gaumont head of sales and acquisitions, “Flight” will be introduced to buyers at Cannes.

Screenplay is by Remy Waterhouse, from an epistolary novel “The Last Flight of the Lancaster.” A tempestuous tale of conflict — between colonial forces and local insurgents, old and new loves, and men who face off for the love of Cotillard —  “Flight” is set in 1933.

Cotillard plays a dashing and thoroughly modern femme aviator who lands in the Sahara, looking for her lover, an English long-distance record-breaking aviator who’s crashed in the desert.

Meanwhile, the local French Foreign legion fort faces a local rebellion.

“Flight” will be directed by Gallic helmer Karim Dridi, best-known for the 1994 “Pigalle.” Gaumont is in advanced negotiations for Guillaume Canet (“Hunting and Gathering”) to play opposite Cotillard, Trocme said.

The $24 million “Flight” is a further instance of Gaumont’s entry into ambitious English-language production.

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