Jean Dujardin La French
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Gaumont/Legende film covers French Connection drug ring

CANNES — French stars Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) and Gilles Lellouche (“Point Blank”) will face off in “La French,” a $26 million action-packed thriller produced by Alain Goldman’s Legende and backed by Gaumont.

Helmed by Cedric Jimenez, “La French” spans the 1970’s and 80’s and takes place in Marseilles, then known as the world capital of drug trafficking and the main supplier of heroin to the U.S.

Dujardin will star as police magistrate Pierre Michel who waged an obsessive six-year battle to bring down the French Connection, the infamous drug ring. Lellouche, will topline as Tany Zampa, a powerful drug lord.

“This film is the true story of the French Connection based on true characters,” said Gaumont Intl. boss, Cecile Gaget, adding that the action takes place in Marseille and in New York.

Jimenez, who last directed “Paris Under Watch,” is from Marseille and was Goldman’s first choice to direct the pic.

Pic is produced by Alain Goldman at Paris-based Legende. Goldman’s credits range from Ridley Scott’s “1492: Conquest of Paradise” to Marion Cotillard starrer “La Vie en rose” and Rose Bosch’s “The Roundup.” Goldman also co-produced Martin Scorsese’s “Casino.”

The filming of “La French” will kick off in September for a delivery in the second half of 2014.

Gaumont will start shopping the film at Cannes Market, which kicks off May 16, and will distribute it in France.

As reported by Variety during the EFM, Goldman will launch a Los Angeles-based production arm, Legende U.S.A., this summer to focus on English-language and international films.

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