Isabelle Huppert to play opposite Kool Shen

PARIS — Gallic helmer Catherine Breillat is set to helm “Abus de faiblesse,” based on her autobiography depicting her destructive relationship with conman Christophe Rocancourt.

Pic turns on Maud, a filmmaker suffering from palsy, who is manipulated by Vilko, an attractive thief she wants to cast in her movie.

Isabelle Huppert will play opposite French rapper-turned-thesp Kool Shen in “Faiblesse,” which is expected to lense in Paris during the second half of the year.

“Faiblesse” is produced by Paris-based Flash Films and co-produced by Arte France Cinema, the film production arm of the French-German broadcaster.

Arte France Cinema has also boarded Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye’s “Mystery” and Argentine helmer Pablo Trapero’s “Elephante Blanco” (working title).

Produced by Les Films du Lendemain, “Mystery” is a thriller following a middle-class Chinese woman who discovers her husband’s double life. Hao Lei (“Summer Palace”) and Qin Hao (“Spring Fever”) star.

Currently shooting in Wuhan, “Mystery” is Lou’s official comeback in China. The controversial and critically acclaimed helmer has been banned from making films in China since 2006 after his “Summer Palace” unspooled at Cannes without official permission.

His last film, Paris-set “Love and Bruises,” played at the fest last year.

“Elephant,” starring Ricardo Darin, Martina Gusman and Jeremie Renier, centers on two priests struggling to improve conditions in a drug-infested slum in Buenos Aires.

As reported in Variety (Dec. 2), the $4 million “Elephant” is Trapero’s biggest-budget pic. It’s produced by Spain’s Morena Films, Trapero’s Matanza Cine and Patagonik, and co-produced by France’s Full House. Pic is shooting in Buenos Aires.

John Hopewell contributed to this report.

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