CANNES– Denis Freyd’s Archipel 35, the co-production company of the Dardennes brothers’ “Two Days, One Night” which world-preems in competition today, is prepping an untitled two-part film about the French Revolution penned and helmed by Pierre Schoeller (“The French Minister”).
The sprawling project charts the elaboration of the The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789 and depicts the power struggle between King Louis XVI and the people, his arrest and execution and the creation of the French Constitution in 1795. Schoeller is writing the script with history scholars.
Wild Bunch is in advanced negotiations to take international sales and French distribution rights to the film.
“Our inspiration is Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ for the way it dramatizes the behind-the-scenes of a decisive chapter of history, the abolishing of slavery,” Freyd told Variety. “Schoeller’s film will be as epic, meticulously documented and will shed light on aspects of the French Revolution that we’ve never seen in a fiction film.”
The film will be an ensemble movie underscoring the role of the people and such emblematic political figures as Georges Danton and Maximilien Robespierre.
Pic will have a large budget (by France’s standards) in 30 million Euros range and will likely be set up as co-production with partners from Belgium and/or Germany, per Freyd.
Added Freyd: “It’s a passion project for Pierre Schoeller. He’s had it in mind for the last 10 years; and we strongly believe in it because Schoeller has previously shown with ‘The French Minister’ his talent for depicting complex behind-the-scenes of political situations with a well-polished style that’s very cinematographic.”
Schoeller’s last film “The French Minister” played in Un Certain Regard in 2011 and garnered positive reviews.