French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife to appear in pic

France’s first lady Carla Bruni will appear in Woody Allen’s Gaul-set film, due to shoot next summer.

The wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy will play a secondary role, according to producer Javier Mendez at Spanish production company Mediapro.

Bruni said last week on Canal Plus television that Allen had asked her to be in the project and she had said yes.

Mendez added that Allen is finalizing the script of the English-French language movie, whose details are under wraps as is usual with Allen.

Barcelona-based Mediapro produced Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and London-set movie “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”

Co-produced by Spanish broadcaster Antena 3, “Stranger” stars Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas and is now in post.

“Stranger” kicked off a three-pic production deal between Allen and Jaume Roures’ Mediapro, which is rounded out by the French project.

Allen’s French pic is budgeted around E20 million ($30 million) and is likely to shoot in Paris, Mendez added.

“The tax rebate for international production could ease financial pressure on Woody Allen’s next film, offering him a 20% rebate on most of the French expenses,” said Patrick Lamassoure, managing director of the French Film Commission.

Allen had a project set for Paris in 2005 that did not go ahead because of the expense of filming there.

(Elsa Keslassy in Paris contributed to this report.)

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