'Artist' helmer joins cast of Sattouf satire

PARIS — “The Artist” helmer Michel Hazanavicius is to take his first major acting role in “Jacky au royaume des filles” (Jacky in Women’s Kingdom), a satirical laffer penned and directed by comicbook artist-turned-helmer Riad Sattouf.

“Kingdom” is set in a femme-led military dictatorship in which gender roles are reversed and men wear the veil.

Hazanavicius will star opposite Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Melancholia”) and Vincent Lacoste, who toplined Sattouf’s feature debut, “The French Kissers.”

Hazanavicius will play the mentor of lead character Jacky, a young man who falls in love with an attractive colonel (Gainsbourg), completely out of his league.

Hazanavicius has made a few cameo appearances before, notably in Alain Berberian’s comedy “La Cite de la peur” and Yvan Attal’s “My Wife Is an Actress.”

Pic is backed by the “Kissers” team: producer Anne-Dominique Toussaint at Les Films des Tournelles plus Studio 37 and Pathe, which have co-acquired “Kingdom” for distribution in France and international sales. Lensing will begin Sept. 24 in Paris and Georgia.

With his helming hat on, Hazanavicius is prepping a contemporary drama inspired by the 1948 Fred Zinnemann film “The Search,” starring “The Artist’s” Berenice Bejo and produced by Thomas Langmann.

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