Film chronicles act of French collaboration
Alain Goldman, producer of “La Vie en rose,” will team with France’s Gaumont to produce another highly ambitious — and potentially controversial — movie: “The Round Up,” a chronicle of an act of French collaboration in the Holocaust.“Round Up” is written and directed by Roselyne Bosch, who wrote the “1492” screenplay, which Goldman produced. And on another project, Goldman’s Paris-based label Legende has attached Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” — which Legende co-produced — to pen the screenplay of “The Brothers.” A big-budget family drama based on the life story of Harry and Jack Warner, their youth, the creation of Warner Bros. and the brothers’ struggle for power, pic will be produced with a U.S. company, Goldman said Saturday in Cannes. For “The Brothers,” Pileggi will deliver a screenplay in two or three months, Goldman said. Legende has made a deal with Case Warner, the grand-daughter of Harry Warner. Cast will have to be A-list, said Goldman. “The film’s about the creation of Hollywood,” he said. Budgeted at E20 million ($26.4 million), the World War II-set “Round Up” turns on a French police operation involving 9,000 officers, which rounded up 13,000 Jews, mostly the elderly, women and children, on the night of July 16, 1942. Most were kept at Paris’ Velodrome d’Hiver sports stadium; many were sent on to Auschwitz. The operation was ordered by France’s Vichy government. “America has a lot of movies, about Vietnam, the CIA, the Iraq War. This round-up is probably the biggest tragedy in French history, but it’s never been told in film,” Goldman said. “The Round Up” toplines Jean Reno and Melanie Laurent (“Inglourious Basterds”). It is a 50-50 co-production between Legende and Gaumont, which has taken French distribution. “Round Up” initiated principal photography May 15. Its 13-week shoot will feature 9,000 extras, and require the re-creation of the Velodrome and a French concentration camp. Legende will sell international rights, creating its own inhouse sales operation. It is also developing the already announced bio of Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World,” to be directed by and starring Forest Whitaker.