Gaumont, Veber build ‘The Closet’

Lensing to begin May 15

The folks responsible for one of the most successful French films of all time are coming out of “The Closet.”

Francis Veber, who directed 1998’s highest-grossing French pic, “The Dinner Game,” for French major Gaumont, will reteam with the studio to lens “Le Placard” (The Closet) from his own script beginning on May 15, according to Pierre Ange Le Pogam, Gaumont’s prexy of worldwide distribution and marketing.

Like “The Dinner Game,” pic will star Thierry Lhermitte who will be joined by Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil (“The Girl on the Bridge”). “Le Placard” is budgeted between $15 million to $16 million.

Though the director and thesps are all experienced with English-lingo pics, “Le Placard” will be shot in French. However, remake rights for “The Dinner Game” were sold to DreamWorks — with Veber adapting his script alongside scribe Steve Kloves (“The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “Wonder Boys”) — although Le Pogam was cagey about what might happen with a remake of “Le Placard.”

Also on deck, “The Crimson Rivers” marks Mathieu Kassovitz’s return to helming following his sophomore effort “L’Assassin.”