Joffe and Goldman to tame ‘Animal’

'Vatel' filmmakers making futuristic thriller

PARIS — Director Roland Joffe and French producer Alain Goldman are teaming up again, Goldman said Tuesday, to make the $15 million pic “Animal.”

The movie will be in English, but that seems to be all the new film will share with their last project together, the disappointingly received Cannes Film Festival opener “Vatel.”

The latter was an expensive costumer — at $36 million, “Vatel” was pricey by French standards — while “Animal,” a thriller, is being budgeted at less than half that.

Joffe and Goldman are also turning their backs on the past to treat a futuristic theme, genetic engineering, from a screenplay penned by Roselyne Bosch in 1993. Goldman had originally developed the project with Gaumont, but bought all the rights a year ago.

“I was unable to get it off the ground at that time because the subject wasn’t fashionable,” Goldman told the weekly Le Film Francais. “But since then the public has matured to these subjects. Back then it was science fiction, but today we know a revolution is under way.”

The two principal characters in the film will be a genetic scientist and his guinea pig. Casting is under way so that shooting may begin early next year, Goldman said.

He will start putting together the financing, once the cast is in place.

The busy producer recently announced plans to make “Rasputin” with director Paul Verhoeven. He is also in negotiations to produce a remake of the French comedy “Bimboland” with Disney.

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