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Gallic duo tapped for ‘Fantomas’

Cassel, Reno to star in adaptation from La Petite Reine

French thesps Vincent Cassel and Jean Reno will star in “Fantomas,” an adaptation of the French detective novels produced by Thomas Langmann’s La Petite Reine.

The $69.8 million pic will shoot in stereoscopic 3D, Langmann said.

Repped by La Petite Reine, “Fantomas” will be co-penned and helmed by Christophe Gans, who previously directed “Silent Hill” and “Brotherhood of the Wolf.”

Langmann is looking to set up the film as a European co-production, a la “Asterix at the Olympic Games.”

Cassel will play Fantomas, a sadistic sociopath and ruthless thief.

Created in 1911 by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre, “Fantomas” is one of France’s most popular fictional characters. He has been brought to the bigscreen multiple times, including a 1964 French version starring Jean Marais and Louis de Fines.

Langmann is also developing “The Artist,” a $19 million, Hollywood-set silent romance shot in black and white and directed by French helmer Michel Hazanavicius. Pic will star Gallic thesp Jean Dujardin, who toplined Hazanavicius’ spy laffers “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies” and “OSS 117: Lost in Rio.” French paybox Canal Plus has pre-bought the film.

La Petite Reine is also producing Patrice Leconte’s “Le Magasin des suicides,” an animated musical based on Jean Teule’s bestselling black comedy novel.

Other projects in development at La Petite Reine include Laila Marrakchi’s bigscreen adaptation of “La Prisonniere,” about the family of Morocco’s General Mohamed Oufkir’s coup against the regime of Hassan II in 1972.

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