Auster to helm ‘Lulu’ for Capitol

CANNES — Fest juror and writer Paul Auster will make his solo directing debut with “Lulu on the Bridge,” which reunites him with Harvey Keitel and the producing team behind “Smoke” and “Blue in the Face.”

“Lulu,” written by Auster and produced by Peter Newman and Greg Johnson, is budgeted at more than $10 million. Capitol Films is putting up the bulk of the finance in return for all rights outside France, with Pyramide taking Gallic rights.

The pic is a surreal romance about a jazz saxophonist whose life is transformed when he is accidentally shot. Auster previously took a co-directing credit on “Blue in the Face” after being heavily involved in the production of “Smoke,” both of which he scripted.

Also new to Capitol’s slate for Cannes is the British project “Among Giants,” which will star Pete Postlethwaite and Rachel Griffiths. A contempo love story about a romantic triangle among three steeplejacks, it will be directed by Sam Miller from Simon Beaufoy’s script. Producer is Stephen Garrett.

Capitol’s Cannes lineup is rounded out by “Beowulf,” starring Christopher Lambert and produced by Larry Kasanoff; and the latest Merchant Ivory project, “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries,” starring Nick Nolte.

The company has two completed films in the official selection: competition entry “The Truce,” which has been picked up by Miramax for North America, and the non-competing Italo sci-fi pic “Nirvana.”

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