French thesp to star opposite Cotillard in next pic for 'Separation' helmer

French thesp Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet”) will star opposite Marion Cotillard in the next feature by Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”), his first pic set outside his native Iran.

Farhadi’s as-yet-untitled French-language drama will start shooting in Paris in the fall, produced by Alexander Mallet-Guy’s Memento Films Prods., which also handled Farhadi’s previous films. An Iranian actor, whose deal is still being finalized, will also join the cast.

Details of the storyline are under wraps.

Memento is launching the $14 million film in Cannes, where Farhadi and Mallet-Guy were honored Sunday as the first recipients of the EU Media Prize providing €60,000 ($76,000) in development coin to the project with best box office potential among 500 submitted for development support in 2012.

“I think this next film could broaden my audience throughout the world,” Farhadi said at the prize ceremony.

Cotillard and Rahim, among Gaul’s biggest stars, have never been paired in a film before, but both have worked with Jacques Audiard — his “Rust and Bone,” starring Cotillard, is in Cannes competition.

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