'Sticks' helmer takes a dramatic turn

Dany Boon, comic actor and director of megahit French comedy “Welcome to the Sticks,” is taking a dramatic turn, toplining “La Guerre de l’Eau” (The Water War), a $12 million political thriller to be helmed by Christian Carion.

Pic is pitched as a French-style “Erin Brockovich” in which the ethics and ecology surrounding a local water supply come under question.

Pic will be produced by Christophe Rossignon and Philip Boeffard, founders of Paris-based outfit Nord-Ouest, which has produced Carion’s previous films.

French thesp Mathilde Seigner (“Camping 2″) will star opposite Boon, who plays the whistleblower.

Pic is Boon’s first dramatic role.

“Boon will play a strong part which reveals his depth as an actor,” said Rossignon.

Formerly known as a standup comedian, Boon is currently wrapping his $27.2 million comedy “Nothing to Declare,” which will be released next February.

Rossignon will also re-team with Mathieu Kassovitz for thriller “L’Ordre et la Moral,” produced by Nord-Ouest.

The film is based on an incident on the Island of Ouvea, a French colony in New Caledonia, when dissidents fighting for independence attacked a police station and took dozens hostage. Kassovitz will topline and is currently co-writing the script with Benoit Jaubert (“Babylon A.D.,” “Louise Michel”). Studio 37 is co-producing. UGC Distribution will handle the French theatrical release.

Kinology has taken international sales rights.

Rossignon and Kassovitz collaborated on many films in the 1990s, including “La Haine” (Hatred), a politically engaged urban tale that remains one of their biggest commercial and critical successes.

Kassovitz is also developing “US,” a $37 million to $49 million 3D live-action film set in the near future. The psychological suspenser centers on 12 people who are trapped on the International Space Station after a nuclear terrorist attack.

Rossignon said the film will be set up as French-German co-production. He’s also considering getting Chinese and Russian co-production partners.

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