Argentina’s Lucia Puenzo, one of Latin America’s most notable distaff directors, will make her French-language helming debut with “Barbe Bleue.” Pic is inspired by Amelie Nothomb’s 2012 novel and set in a modern-day Paris.
Written by Puenzo and Sergio Bizzi, “Barbe Bleue” is produced by Luis and Lucia Puenzo at Argentina’s Historias Cinematograficas, and Francis Boespflug and Stephane Parthenay at Paris-based Pyramide Prods.
“Barbe Bleue” centers on the growing attraction of Severine, who restores paintings at the Louvre, with Elemerio, who rents her a suspiciously cheap room in a luxurious Paris mansion. She falls under his spell when he offers her the chance to restore Waterhouse’s “Hylas and the Nymphs,” which he’s stolen. They become lovers, but she also investigates, “like a detective in her own horror film,” per Luis Puenzo, the fates of other young women who once lived in the mansion.
“I want to narrate in a microscopic manner how someone can fall in love with a person although they sense they’re dangerous,” Lucia Puenzo said, calling “Barbe Bleu” “a mixture of elements from a fable, the sinister and a genre film.”
Lucia Puenzo is currently writing a new draft of the screenplay. Producers are in discussions with potential cast, per Parthenay. “Barbe Bleue” is scheduled to go into production in September/October, shooting, among other locations, in the Louvre’s real restoration rooms.
Luis Puenzo won an Academy Award for “The Official Story”; Pyramide Prods. co-produced “The Barbarian Invasions,” another Oscar winner.