The stylish thriller, which is repped by Gaumont Intl. and produced by Legende Films, is based on the true story of magistrate Pierre Michel’s six-year battle to bring down a powerful drug ring.
The pic is produced by Alain Goldman, and directed by Cedric Jimenez, while Dujardin plays Michel opposite Gilles Lellouche as Zempa.
“La French” marks the first joint acquisition between Picturehouse and Altitude.
Picturehouse’s director of programming and acquisitions, Clare Binns, said: “I’ve been looking for a way to work with Altitude for a while now. It should make for a beautiful friendship.”
Will Clarke, joint CEO of Altitude, said, “We’re very excited to be working with Clare and the Picturehouse team on our first film together — they are brilliant at what they do and will be a great fit with Altitude. ‘La French’ is a powerful proposition and has all the right elements to break through in the U.K.”
Cecile Gaget, head of Gaumont Intl., who negotiated the U.K. deal, said: “The film clicked with buyers because it gives an ambitious and modern vision of ‘The French Connection’.”
While in Cannes to promote the movie, Dujardin told Variety “La French” was the first film he decided to do after winning an Oscar for “The Artist.”
“I wasn’t interested in making a big testosterone thriller, and what’s so compelling with ‘La French’ is that we transcended the gangster genre. We’re not putting drug dealers and criminals on a pedestal, and it’s also a true story.”