'The Intouchables' Directors Moving Into 'Samba'

Gaumont on board to co-produce, distribute and handle international sales

Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, the duo behind smash hit comedy “The Intouchables,” are set to direct “Samba,” a French-language  immigration-themed dramedy toplining Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Nymphomaniac”), Izia Higelin (“Mauvaise fille”) and Tahar Rahim (“The Past”).

Nicolas Duval, Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun at Quad, the Paris-based company which produced Toledano and Nakache’s last three films – “Nos Jours Heureux,” “So Happy Together” and “The Intouchables” — are back on board.

Quad is reteaming with Gallic major Gaumont, which is co-producing, and is set to distribute as well as handle international  sales via Cecile Gaget’s team.  Nakache and Toledano’s banner Ten Films is also co-producing.

“In a similar vein as ‘Intouchables,’ ‘Samba’ is a social comedy that tells a moving and universal story and is anchored by endearing characters we can all relate to,” said Gaget, adding that she will introduce the project at the AFM.

Sy, the star of “The Intouchables,” will play an undocumented immigrant. The plot of the movie is still under wraps.

Lensing will start at the end of the month in France for an expected delivery in late 2014.

Pic marks Nakache and Toledano’s fourth collaboration with Sy, who toplined “Intouchables, “Our Happy Days,” “So Happy Together” and the short “Ces jours heureux.”

“Intouchables” grossed over $426 million worldwide, including an estimated $10.2 million in the U.S. where it was released by The Weinstein Co..

On top of being a commercial success, pic was also critically-acclaimed. Among the many prizes and nominations it received, “Intouchables” nabbed a Golden Globe nom. “Intouchables” also launched the international career of Sy, who nailed his first leading role as a troubled caretaker. The French star, who is now repped by CAA, has lined up a few roles in Hollywood, including “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Candy Store” and  “Good People.”

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