Rihanna, who recently appeared in Luc Besson’s “Valerian,” is rumored to have a small part in the film.
The hottest European project to emerge out of this year’s American Film Market, “Annette” is repped in international markets by Gregoire Melin’s Kinology, which is also co-producing.
With a $15.5 million budget, “Annette” marks Carax’s English-language debut and his most ambitious film to date. On top of starring Driver and Mara, “Annette” will feature original songs by the Sparks, the art-rock band founded in 1971 by Ron and Russell Mael.
Shooting will take place across several international locations including Los Angeles. Bruno Pesery is lead-producing “Annette” via his Paris-based outfit Arena Films (“21 Nights With Pattie”) and has gotten Swiss company Vega, Japan’s Eurospace, and Belgium’s Wrong Men to co-produce.
Melin told Variety that the movie depicts the rise and fall of an intense love story and will boast Carax’s singular visual style and atmosphere, bringing back the key crew that worked on the director’s previous movie, “Holy Motors,” which competed at Cannes.
“Annette” is expected to start shooting in late spring for 15 weeks.
Over the course of his 30-year career, Carax has amassed just a few directing credits, though the films garnered attention for their artistic flair, including “Boy Meet Girl,” “Mauvais Sang,” “Les Amants du Pont Neuf,” and “Holy Motors.”
Driver recently wrapped shooting the sequel to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the final season of “Girls.” He can next be seen in Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” and Jim Jarmusch’s drama “Paterson.”
Mara starred in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “Carol” and will be seen this year in “Lion.”
UPDATE: This story has been edited to reflect that the stars are in negotiations for the film.