You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Man’ overboard in Corsica

Co-prod swimming in coin woes, accusations

The suicide of French veteran producer Humbert Balsan has derailed his latest pic “The Man From London” and turned the project into a Euro nightmare.

Production on the French island of Corsica collapsed last week, nine days into the shoot, leaving Hungarian helmer Bela Tarr with 30 minutes worth of film, the European co-production parties with a likely loss of $2 million, the Corsicans with an old Hungarian train and everybody with frayed nerves.

“The Man From London,” based on a Georges Simenon novel, was a complicated affair from the onset: a four-way co-production between France, Hungary, Germany and the U.K., it involved numerous subsidy bodies including the CNC and the Hungarian Motion Picture Foundation and French-German pubcaster ARTE.

Tarr is still determined to resume production this fall, but attempts to get the film back on track have stalled.

Tarr says that after Balsan’s death the Hungarians pumped more money into the production to keep the movie going, but it soon appeared Balsan’s company Ognon was not able to fulfill its obligation after its owner’s death.

Jean-Patrick Costantini is the pic’s exec producer, and his Tanit Films was in charge of the shoot in Bastia, Corsica.

He views Tarr as a gifted auteur who wasn’t up to the task of the complicated shoot, which included clearing the Basia harbor of all boats for two months and hitting deadlines that would enable it to reopen by the spring tourism season.

Tarr blames Tanit for tearing down the set when the cash flow ended. Constantini counters that Tanit is “working every day in harmony with the Hungarians, putting elements of the set into storage.”

Tarr insists he’d rather make a film than end up in court and is in talks with a Gallic company to take over as the French delegate producer.

“I want to stick to our original plan and have the movie ready for Cannes 2006,” he says. “Life and this movie aren’t over yet.”

More Film

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal to Star in Remake of Denmark's Oscar Entry 'The Guilty' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bold Films, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker’s Nine Stories banner have acquired the rights to remake the Danish thriller “The Guilty,” with Gyllenhaal attached to star. The pic won the world cinema audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and was also named one of the top five foreign language films of 2018 by [...]

  • Toxic Avenger

    'Toxic Avenger' Movie in the Works at Legendary

    Legendary Entertainment is developing “The Toxic Avenger” as a movie after acquiring the feature film rights. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers. Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter will oversee for Legendary. Kaufman and Herz produced the original 1984 comedy, set in the fictional town of Tromaville, N.J., and centered [...]

  • Constance Wu

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Constance Wu in Negotiations for Romantic Comedy

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu is in talks to join Sony’s Screen Gems’ untitled romantic comedy, with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman producing. “GLOW” actress Kimmy Gatewood is making her feature directorial debut on the project. She will be directing from a Savion Einstein script about a woman who becomes pregnant with two babies [...]

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal AoA

    Maggie Gyllenhaal on Why a Woman Director Doesn't Automatically Make a Story More Feminine

    Having a female director doesn’t automatically make a story more feminine, says “The Kindergarten Teacher” star Maggie Gyllenhaal, but when it comes to her film with director Sara Colangelo, she says the female narrative is fully encapsulated. “Just because something is written or directed by a woman doesn’t necessarily make it a feminine articulation,” she says [...]

  • Kevin Hart Hurricane Harvey

    Academy Looks Warily at Oscar Host Options As Board Meeting Looms

    Kevin Hart’s abrupt departure as Oscars host has left the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences scrambling to find someone to take the gig. As of now, the situation remains fluid as the group’s leadership explores options, including going host-less, individuals familiar with the situation told Variety. The Academy was blindsided by Hart’s announced departure Thursday [...]

  • Regina King Maggie Gyllenhaal

    Maggie Gyllenhaal, Regina King on Intimacy Experts: 'I Could Have Used the Help When I Was Younger'

    Maggie Gyllenhaal’s sex-trade industry series “The Deuce” features one job that’s unlike any other in television: an intimacy expert. During her Variety Actors on Actors interview with Regina King, “The Kindergarten Teacher” actress explained how the strange role is actually important in helping young actresses stand up for themselves, especially when it comes to sex scenes on [...]

  • Javier Bardem Elle Fanning Salma Hayek

    Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek to Star in Sally Potter Drama

    Production has begun in Spain on Sally Potter’s untitled family drama, starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, and Laura Linney. The story is described as a chronicle of a wild day in the life of a man on the edge, held together by the unconditional love of his daughter with Bardem and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content