Cassel to star in ‘The Monk’

Dominik Moll helming adaptation of Lewis novel

Gallic thesp Vincent Cassel will topline in “The Monk,” an 18th century-set suspenser based on Matthew Lewis’ Gothic novel.

The Madrid-set pic stars Deborah Francois (“The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”), Sergi Lopez (“Leaving”) and Geraldine Chaplin (“The Orphanage”).

The Monk” depicts the rise and tragic downfall of Capucin Ambrosio, a respected Spanish monk.

French-German director Dominik Moll has been tapped to direct.

Key tech includes art director Antxon Gomez and music composer Alberto Iglesias, who both previously worked on Pedro Almodovar’s “Broken Embraces” and Steven Soderbergh “Che.”

Pic is Moll’s followup to Cannes competition title “Lemming,” which he directed in 2005. Moll’s directorial debut, “With a Friend Like Harry,” also screened in Cannes and won a Cesar nod.

Budgeted at E11 million ($15 million), Monk is produced by Michel Saint-Jean for Gallic shingle Diaphana Films and “Che’s” producer Alvaro Longoria for Madrid-based company Morena Films.

Paris-based company Memento Intl. has taken international sales rights. Diaphana Distribution will handle the theatrical release in Gaul.

The 12-week lensing will start in mid-April.

Cassel has just wrapped Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” a New York-set thriller co-starring Nathalie Portman.

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