Oscar-nominated writer, filmmaker and actress Julie Delpy has written and will direct and star in “My Zoe,” which will shoot in the U.K. next spring. Delpy is joined in the cast by Daniel Brühl and Gemma Arterton.
Gabrielle Tana, Oscar nominated for “Philomena,” is producing the London-set movie for Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow Films, while Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales on the film. Protagonist will present the project to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin in February. Hubert Caillard and Dominique Boutonnat of France’s Electrik Films will co-produce.
“‘My Zoe’ is the fascinating and confrontational story about the lengths to which a mother’s love goes for her child,” according to a statement from Protagonist. “Delpy plays Isabelle, a geneticist recovering from a toxic marriage and raising her daughter Zoe in conjunction with her ex-husband. Zoe means everything to her mother, but when tragedy strikes the fractured family, Isabelle takes matters into her own hands.”
Brühl (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Rush,” “Alone in Berlin”) and Arterton (“Their Finest,” “The Girl With All the Gifts,” “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”) play a couple Isabelle turns to for help in Moscow. Lior Ashkenazy (“Big Bad Wolves,” “Footnote”) plays Isabelle’s new boyfriend. The role of the ex-husband James is currently being cast.
Delpy commented: “I started thinking and taking notes about this film over 20 years ago. It first came to my mind discussing with [Krzysztof] Kieslowski about parenting, love and fate. The film is about the unconditional love you feel as a parent. It was a very profound process to write it. I gave it all the truth I had and I hope it resonates with others.”
“‘My Zoe’ is one of those movies that people stand around and argue about,” Protagonist CEO Mike Goodridge said. “Julie has created a compulsive drama about what it means to be a parent, and what lengths a parent will go to for their children.”
Tana described the script as “riveting, a page turner. I could not put it down on first read.”
Delpy is best known for her role in the “Before Sunrise” trilogy, which she co-wrote, sharing Oscar nominations for “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight.” Her writing/directing credits include “The Countess,” “2 Days in New York” and “Lolo.”